Newton's Cradle

G.A._Rushing's picture

A science toy that has been used for decades by business executives, as a desk ornament and conversation piece. It was designed to demonstrate the conservation of momentum and energy as proposed by Sir Isaac Newton. This model is sturdier than the cheaper ones most commonly available. The base is made of marble and padded with green felt on the bottom to protect desktops and tables from scratches. The ball joints are of ABS plastic, and the stainless steel spheres are suspended from steel chains instead of nylon cords. Anyone viewing this is in all probability familiar with the device and how it works, so no explanation should be necessary.

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Miscellaneous
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4
davis's picture

Cool, will you produce those, since you are so specific on the material?

Did you try to simulate the motion in Bforartists? - That would be interesting to see.

G.A._Rushing's picture

Thank you for your interest, DAVIS. No, I'm semi-retired and don't have a shop anymore to manufacture such items. I used to make wind chimes, and this is similar in construction as to the suspension of objects, but with entirely different effects. Rigging this model for animation in bforartists would be tricky due to calculating the arc of motion. Calculus never was one of my strong points. Still, I may attempt it if I get bored with nothing else to do.

Animating the spheres on each end is only part of the problem. There is also deceleration involved as the spheres lose momentum, and they swing more and more slowly until they stop altogether. I'm not sure yet how I would depict that in the animation. All of the animations of Newton's Cradles that I have seen to date show a constant rate of motion in an endless loop with no deceleration. In the real world, that does not happen.

George A. Rushing

davis's picture

I was just wondering what would happen if you simulated it?

This seems not to be a 100% accurate result, but there are a few, some somewhat convincing results up on youtube. ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozipVZ9MkZU ... something to try maybe, if you are into physics, etc.

G.A._Rushing's picture

Thank you for the follow-up, DAVIS. I was not aware of these videos on YouTube. I was more interested in creating the art object without using a tutorial or getting any assistance whatsoever. I'll watch the video you provided a link to when I have some spare time. Again, thanks.

George A. Rushing