Pulling out the Tablecloth
Posted June 1, 2008on:
I hope everyone that teaches inertia does this demonstration. I let the kids do it also. I have a couple dos and don’ts for making this a success.
- Pull the tablecloth out with a quick, single motion. If you pull slowly, friction will start the dishes moving towards you.
- Choke up on the tablecloth. You want to have your full arms length to pull it. If the cloth is slack, you might only pull the tablecloth half way out.
- Friction is your enemy. A smooth, silky tablecloth works better than a rough, burlap bag.
- Pull quickly and pull slightly down. If you pull upward, you are likely to launch the dishes into the air.
- Make sure the tablecloth doesn’t have a hem. The edge of the plate and cup will snag on these and go flying.
- I tried this the first time with a dollar store tablecloth. The plate didn’t move, but the cloth ripped in half. Just a heads up.
- I’ve never had a failure at this demonstration. The closest I’ve come is when one of the kids does the trick and starts to pull up. I usually stand close by when it’s their turn.
I always tell the kids to make sure you go home and try this with mom’s good china. 😉