Equipartition Of Energy

Purpose

To demonstrate the concept of equipartition of energy.◙
 

Equipment

Bowl with three ping pong balls, three cork balls, and three superballs.

Images

i6-03

Description

Into the glass bowl are placed balls of the same size but three different masses: ping pong balls, cork balls, and superballs. Shaking the bowl gives all of the balls approximately the same kinetic energy. Because the light balls have greater velocities for the same average kinetic energy, as you shake the bowl more and more fervently first the ping pong balls, then the cork balls, and finally the superballs jump out.