Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Balanced Fork Experiment

Here's a very cool science experiment my two daughters and I tested out the other day.  It's a classic center of mass experiment where you balance something that appears to be impossible to balance. We began by intertwining two forks and jamming a toothpick between them, as shown below.  Then it's a matter of placing the toothpick/fork on the edge of any glass.  It may take a moment or two, but you should be able to balance it.  It is very cool looking, as seen below!


Why does it balance?  It's all about center of mass.  If an equal amount of mass is on each side of the balance point, the object will balance.  If not, the object topples over.  Because the forks curve around the sides of the glass, the fork/toothpick combo remains balanced.  To make the experiment even more impressive, light the toothpick on fire and watch it burn all the way to the glass edge.  It will still remain balanced!  See our video below.  Very cool!

video

And here are the final pictures.  



Give it a try!  This experiment is sure to wow your kids!


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