The pendulum is named after Leon Foucault. The pendulum demonstrates the motion of a mathematical pendulum under the influence of the rotation of the Earth. One of the most popular installations of a real Foucault's pendulum is located at Musée des arts et métiers in Paris, France. The famous philosopher and novelist Umberto Eco wrote a novel named Foucault's Pendulum.

The Coriolis force causes the pendulum to change its oscillation plane. On the equator (latitude = 0) the Coriolis force is zero and the pendulum will behave there like an ordinary pendulum. On a pole the Coriolis force attains its maximum. The control for the latitude ranges over [0, π/2].