Pile Driver

Purpose

To illustrate the conversion of gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy and then into work.

Equipment

Pile driver shaft, cylindrical iron weight, wood block with nail and hammer.

Images

c8-06

Description

Start a nail into the center of the wood block. Place the block on the floor with the nail up and position the pile driver tube over the block. Hold the iron weight at the top of the tube and release it. The weight will fall to the bottom and pound the nail into the wood.

References

Julius Sumner Miller, Observations on a Pile Driver, AJP 22, 409 (1954).