How to Build a Newtonian Demonstrator
Newton's Cradle demonstrates Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Why is This Toy Important?
A Newtonian Demonstrator is a fancy name for a device that is also called the Newton's Cradle and is sold by the second name as an office desk toy.
You may have seen it at home, in an office, or in a movie and wondered what it was.
The concept was demonstrated centuries ago in France and Sir Isaac Newton later developed laws of physics that are illustrated by the device.
The Newtonian Demonstrator Fits in With STEM Education
STEM subjects include sciences, technologies. engineering, mathematics of all kinds...and Apollo 11 Astronaut and Mars activist Buzz Aldrin has added the Arts to make the total package STEAM.
The Newton's Cradle has sold very well as an executive desktop toy since it was first manufactured in the late 1960s. It was reportedly prototyped by the actor Simon Prebble. At first, a wooden cradle version of the device was sold by the famous department store, Harrods of London.
Soon after this, manufacturers fashioned a metal cradle of chrome based on the work of a sculptor. This sculptor is the film and TV director, Richard Loncraine. Thus, actors and other film people contributed the largest part of the idea propelling this scientific device and toy item into the marketplace.
The largest Newton's Cradle so far was designed by Chris Boden.
The huge construct is located at The Geek Group home base in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
This nonprofit company is a cross between a Center of Science and Industry and Mad Science. The huge Newtonian contraption is made with bowling balls and is on public display from Monday through Saturday from 10am - 8pm. It is often used for demonstrations in science, various technology presentations, and for educational groups.
The monster Newtonian demonstrator is made up of 7 bowling balls of equal weight, 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) each. The bowling balls are attached securely to metal cables and hung from metal trusses in the ceiling of a warehouse at The Geek Group. The suspension cables are 20 feet long (6.1m) and the bowling balls hang 3 feet from the floor (1m).
DIY Desktop Version
Construction of the Large Version
Hanging from metal beams in a sturdy warehouse ceiling, this Newton's Cradle does not need a frame.
The parts needed for this large project include 7 bowling balls of equal weight, a substantial amount of metal cabling, hardware to attached the cables to the bowling balls and the ceiling, and the proper metal working tools for the job.
The requirements likely include tape measures and other measuring devices, welding gear and materials, metal couplings, metal saws, hammers, Philips head screw drivers, and metal screws.
What makes the Newtonian Demonstrator perform? Physics! -- Newton's 3rd Law Of Motion.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.— Newton's 3rd Law Of Motion
The Geek Group
The Geek Group is an expanding and fascinating place to visit, because there is always something added to enjoy and learn. It is ideal for after-school classes, summer sessions, science demonstrations, presentations for private groups, project work space, and workshops on any of the following topics and new subjects added regularly:
- Newtonian and non-Newtonian Physics
- High Energy Physics
- High Voltage Physics
- Astronomy - This is extremely useful with our new aerospace projects, both public and private in America and in association with Japan and other nations.
- Sound and Acoustics
- Geology and Mineralogy
- Alternative Energy
These individuals teach science, technology, engineering, math, and arts education. That's the hard sciences of STEM, plus art! They really understand that science and art go together.
If you are ever near Grand Rapids, Michigan, stop in:
The Geek Group
- 902 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
- Phone:(616) 466-4335
- Call for a tour! Tours are usually provided on Saturdays from Noon - 3:00 PM.
The Geek Group in Michigan
Additional Topics in Physics and Mathematics
- Einstein's Refrigerator - A Forgotten Invention and Green Comeback
Albert Einstein worked as a clerk in a patent office in his earliest career and was well informed about the procedures of invention and patenting. In 1926, he patented his own invention, in addition to formulating and developing theories in physics..
- Particle Physics Up Close and Tiny
Outer space is a location of fascinating quantum effects too great in number to count. These effects seem to create subatomic particles and antiparticles from out of sheer nothingness. Once they appear, they cease to exist again instantly. The power
- What Is a Triangular Number?
Triangular Numbers do not need to cause confusion! Come in and see some of them.
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS