Inertia - Tablecloth Trick

Purpose

To dramatically demonstrate inertia of rest.◙

Equipment

Tablecloth with table setting, as photographed.

Setup Time

5 min.

Images

c3-02

Description

The table setting rests on a silk tablecloth. Rapidly yanking the tablecloth out from under the setting pieces leaves the table setting unchanged.

References

Joseph Perez, The tablecloth pull, TPT 15, 242, (1977). H. T. Hudson, There's more to it than inertia, TPT 23, 163, (1985). Haber-Schaim and Dodge, There's More to it than Friction, TPT 29, 56-57, (1991).