Quick Newton’s Laws Demo
Posted December 3, 2010on:
I was discussing Newton’s Laws and trying to explain how the tension increases in an elevator cable when it starts moving up. The kids get it that the tension when it’s not moving is equal to the weight of the load, but once it starts moving, they get wacky. Some seem to think the only weight at that point is the force from F=ma and the elevator is now weightless.
I put 1 kg mass on the large spring scale and showed how it pins the reading if I pull up. They saw it, but it didn’t click.
On a whim a took I put the 1 kg mass and lifted it with some string. My standard classroom string is macrame string from A. C. Moore. It costs about $3 for 1000 ft ball of string. I think I go through a ball of it every year. Anyway, the 10 N weight is nearing the limit of what the string can hold. I accelerated the string upward just like I did with the scale and the string snapped. Watch your toes, it fell to the floor and cracked a tile… oops.