Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

The Apple and the Banana

Posted on: June 2, 2008


These were new to me, I saw Lou Bloomberg do them at an Educator’s Day up at Penn State. This is for the teacher to do since it involves a sharp knife.

Place an apple on the edge of the table and use a long knife and a quick flick of the wrist to slice through the middle of the apple. The apple should stay in place because of its inertia.

The second part of the demo was even better. Lou held the knife in the air and threw the banana sideways at it. The banana traveled in an arc cut itself in two on the blade and kept on the same trajectory. Although expected, it was odd to see both halves continued to travel next to each other.

NOTE: Lou must have practiced this a million times. It sounds easy and he made it look easy, but damn, it ain’t easy. You might want to buy some bananas ahead of time and practice throwing a banana over your head.

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2 Responses to "The Apple and the Banana"

Did he peel the banana first or does he have some ginshu ninja knife tempered in the volcanic fires of Fuji?

It actually cuts quite easily without peeling. The knife does need to be sharp, but not a razor edge. Give it a shot.

And the knives are tempered on the planet Vulcan. Clearly that is what you meant to ask.

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What’s New in 2013/2014?

Every year brings a change, this one is no exception.

I will be picking up the sophomore honors Algebra II class to keep them separate from the juniors. This should help accelerate them and put them on a stronger track towards Calculus. Looks like there will be only one section each of Physics and Calculus, but still two of Robotics & Engineering.

Hot topics this year are going to be the Common-Core Standards, Standards-Based Grading (SBG), improving AP Calculus scores, and somehow adding Python, maybe as a club.

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