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Old Jul 11th 2018, 07:17 PM   #1
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Newton's Cradle Help

Greetings,

When I was a kid, a relative had a Newton's Cradle that worked perfectly. The balls in the middle DID NOT MOVE! I purchased a toy Newton's Cradle but, needless to say, it does not work well.

I decided to make my own. Since I am a woodworker, I wanted to make a nice one out of exotic woods. However, although I thought I measured carefully, I had some problems. I bought some steel balls at a thrift shop and measured them at 1". I built the NC with holes drilled in the transverse arches (see attachement) at exactly 1". However, the balls are actually 1⅛". Not my fault—I was using a bad ruler. LOL Who makes steel balls at one and an eighth inch, anyway?!

I digress. What I would like to know is 1) is it necessary to secure 1" steel balls? ...and 2) how perfectly do the balls need to be lined up for efficient kinetic performance? ...and 3) does the fact that the transverse supports are arched impact the kinetic performance?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 11th 2018, 09:05 PM   #2
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Nice carpentry , robotarmy ....

Originally Posted by robotarmy View Post
does the fact that the transverse supports are arched impact the kinetic performance?!
Yes ... that's the first thing I noticed ... I guess you need all the balls aligned in a straight horizontal line for this to work well ... if so the strings will be different lengths for each ball which will make the swing time of each slightly different.

I would think perfect alignment is essential.

I can't imagine the size of the balls is too important , as long as they're the same ... but how will you connect the string ??? not easy to drill a hole ! Super glue??

This is a very challenging project , it seems deceptively simple to make one of these , but if everything is not perfect it won't work ..

You're entering unknown territory with different string lengths ...

Still push on with your experiments , you may discover an interesting variant on the standard model...

The one in this video is pretty useless , they used bowling balls , too soft a material so little energy is transferred on impact and it quickly comes to stop ... with steel balls that size it should continue swinging for minutes ...


Last edited by oz93666; Jul 11th 2018 at 09:31 PM.
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