Monday, May 16, 2016

Bowling ball video alternatives

Physics teachers have been using a bowling ball pendulum for a long time. Considered a "classic" it is used to demonstrate conservation of energy and has amazed physics students. Thanks to viral videos of "bowling ball pendulum fails" or "... gone wrong" many of our students have already seen this demo:

Even our own Physics Teachers SOS (PTSOS) workshops have demonstrated this and had mixed results.

For several years I did not have a set up in my classroom that I felt was safe enough for this demo. I found this clip from Brainiacs a suitable replacement for a long time:

I especially like the fact that they try to adjust for the loss of energy (great discussion of work) in a secondary experiment. Of course doing it yourself is always best, but if you can't, this is my favorite replacement.

After I made my new pendulum (more about that here), I was able to make some new videos. My English teacher neighbor was kind enough to assist. Although I should have given him some more initial instructions.

 In case they don't think its a big deal, here's a point of view version:

There are many, many more out there if one of these doesn't fit the bill for you!

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