SCIENCE IN WONDER - ALMOST LIKE MAGIC

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NEWTON'S CRADLE
You've probably seen this contraption before: Five small silver balls hang in a perfectly straight line by thin threads that attach them to two parallel horizontal bars, which are in turn attached to a base. They sit on office desks around the world.

If you pull a ball up and out and then release it, it falls back and collides with the others with a loud click. Then, instead of all four remaining balls swinging out, only the ball on the opposite end jumps forward, leaving its comrades behind, hanging still. That ball slows to a stop and then falls back, and all five are briefly reunited before the first ball is pushed away from the group again.

This is a Newton's cradle, also called a Newton's rocker or a ball clicker.





REQUIREMENTS:
1. The balls in Newton's Cradle should be the same mass. Even a slight deviation will change the derivation equations and result in slightly different results.
2. It doesn't matter how many balls are used, although the more you use, the greater the chances for deviations.
3. The balls should be perfectly aligned. If some balls were not on a straight line, the transfer of momentum and energy would also be misaligned, changing the outcome.
4. Spherical balls are used because their contact is approximately a point. Other shaped objects could be used, but that increases the chances for misalignment.
5. Hard metal balls—such as made of hardened steel—are used to minimize losses in energy due to elastic distortions.
6. Balls are hung with a pair of strings or wires in order to keep them in alignment and to minimize losses due to friction.

YOU CAN ALSO MAKE A NEWTON'S CRADLE TO UNDERSTAND THE LAWS OF CONSERVATION OF ENERGY OR TO AMUSE PEOPLE!

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