High school physics teacher shows his awesome home made marble tracks

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/07/high-school-physics-teacher-sh.html


Congratulations to this guy! At the 2:30 mark, he demonstrates that he has found the world’s only suitable use for golden delicious apples.


This guy has a contagious approach that would engage a kids mind in a hurry, gadgets, action and results. What’s not to love? I wish my physics teacher would have had the same skills and enthusiasm.

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I just want to see Maxwell’s daemon push those balls uphill.

Reminds me of this Adam Savage + Vsauce video

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I don’t get why the ball travels faster on the tracks that dip lower.

Gravity imparts greater inertia onto the balls.

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But then they lose inertia going back up, right?

Sure, they accelerate going down and decelerate going up. But the ball with more acceleration from the pull of gravity is still going to roll faster.

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The dips in the track create divots in the ether which alternately heat and cool the windward and leeward side of each hill, thus propelling the billiard balls much like a naval rail gun or a children’s merry-go-round.


I gotta say, the guy’s got balls.

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Using the tracks to simulate pendulums makes me want to do pendulum waves with tracks.

My graduate supervisor used to tell an amusing self deprecating story. For many years he taught first year physics, one of those hugely populous classes in a giant lecture hall. And every year when it came to teaching conservation of energy, he would do the same demo. He rigged a bowling ball on the end of a long rope suspended from the middle of the lecture hall ceiling. He would then stand on a ladder at one side of the lecture hall with the bowling ball drawn over to just beside his head. He would release the ball and it would accelerate down towards the middle before losing speed as it went up to the other side of the lecture hall. The ball would then head back in the other direction picking up speed towards the middle and starting to move back up towards my professor’s waiting head. And year after year the ball would come to rest just beside his head where he had let it go seconds before. Until one year when he accidentally gave it a bit of an initial push when he let it go …


I guess car routing algorithms do a similar thing; it may be shorter to take the freeway downtown, but at rush hour, a longer route may be faster.

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