Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stopping In (Tea) Time

This is a fun experiment that should get your students thinking.

You will need:
  • A china coffee cup
  • A desert spoon
  • A meter length of string
  • A fat marker pen
  • Some tape
Instructions:

Check out the video



A lot happens at once.
So we are going to talk about one thing at a time.
  1. The spoon is pulled to the ground due to gravity. The string makes it travel in a curve. Due to the cup moving, the string length from the pen to the spoon shortens. So the spoon has a force acting on it but rapidly it has a shorter distance to travel.
  2. The spoon wraps the string around the fat marker. As this happens the effect of friction increases.  Soon the effect of friction becomes the greater force.  Gravity can't keep up!
This all happens at once and ta da!

You might want to practice with a cushion to catch the cup. Or use a plastic cup weighted with play dough.  Mind your head!  

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