Firstly, it is a comprensive quantitative study of one physical system, the pendulum, from the viewpoint of elementary and more advanced classical physics, modern chaotic dynamics, and quantum mechanics. In addition, coupled pendulums and pendulum analogs of superconducting devices are also discussed. Secondly, this book treats the physics of the pendulum within a historical and cultural context, showing for example that the pendulum has been intimately connected with studies of the earth's density, the earth's motion and timekeeping.
While primarily a physics book, the work provides significant added interest through the use of relevant cultural and historical vignettes. This approach offers an alternative to the usual modern physics courses.
The text is amply illustrated and augmented by exercises at the end of each chapter.