Racing Balls

Purpose

To illustrate linear kinematics in a possibly counterintuitive way.

Equipment

Track assembly with two-ball launcher, as photographed.

Suggestions

Ask the class to vote before doing the experiment.

Images

c2-11

Description

When the two balls are launched from one end of the track with the same velocities, what will happen: (a) the ball on the straight track arrives at the other end first, (b) the ball on the track with the dip arrives at the other end first, or © the race is a tie - both balls reach the other end at the same time? ◙

References

(PIRA 1D15.20) See the Demonstration Reference File for several very interesting papers on this apparatus and variants thereof.◙