Sub-Riemannian approach for the Foucault pendulum
The well known Foucault pendulum is studied within the formalism of
sub-Riemannian geometry on nilpotent Lie groups. It is shown that in a
rotating frame a sub-Riemannian structure can be naturally
introduced. Some other physical models such as a falling particle on a
rotating planet can be treated in a similar form. Horizontal
trajectories are explicitly
computed and displayed for the symmetric case.