What is Slinky: Definition and 30 Discussions

A Slinky is a precompressed helical spring toy invented by Richard James in the early 1940s. It can perform a number of tricks, including travelling down a flight of steps end-over-end as it stretches and re-forms itself with the aid of gravity and its own momentum, or appear to levitate for a period of time after it has been dropped. These interesting characteristics have contributed to its success as a toy in its home country of the United States, resulting in many popular toys with slinky components in a wide range of countries.

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  1. Orodruin

    Insights The Slinky Drop Experiment Analysed

    [url="https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/the-slinky-drop-experiment-analysed/"]Continue reading...
  2. mike2020

    I A simple way to vizualize non-linear waves with a star Slinky toy

    Some Slinky toys are star-shaped (1st picture), like my daughter's one. Then, when extending them , it forms a periodic pattern: a non-linear wave! It could be helpful to teach what is a nonlinear-wave or signal to students. The star-shape may be related to the dynamical phase-space of this...
  3. N

    I Dropping an extended Slinky -- Why does the bottom of the Slinky not fall?

    Please could someone explain this to me? GRAVITY IS A MYTH (59 sec) Summary; in slow-mo a man drops a virtually extended free hanging slinky; the lower part appears to hang in the air for a moment. In the comments: Rob; “..the overall mass of the slinky is falling but the bottom part is being...
  4. L

    Calculate the net energy of this system (mass and Slinky in an elevator)

    The slinky is designed to fully contract in 1 second. During this one second, the mass is weightless and move up at constant speed of 1m/s. After 1 second the mass gain 1m height in potential energy. Am I missing something?
  5. benorin

    2-d equations of motion for a Slinky going down stairs?

    This problem fascinated me in lower division physics. Find the 2-d equations of motion for a Slinky going down a flight of stairs (assuming the path of the slinky is planar; eg only going up and down and front and back, no side to side). I do confess that whilst I do love physics I’m not...
  6. a1call

    A Spinning a Slinky: Momentum & Angular Momentum Explained

    Hi all, "When the top end of the Slinky is dropped, the information of the tension change must propagate to the bottom end before both sides begin to fall; the top of an extended Slinky will drop while the bottom initially remains in its original position, compressing the spring.[12] This...
  7. M

    A Does continuous mass distribution implies finite propagation

    speed? This question emerged in my mind while studying a discrete and continuous mathematical model of a falling slinky. In the discrete model, we suppose an instantaneous interaction between mass points at a distance, so the action propagates through the chain of mass points with infinite...
  8. S

    How to take into account Force when comparing two lengths?

    The attached picture sums up my experiment. I used a slinky (a kind of a bouncing spring) to see the relationship between its maximum length when released and the length of its first rebound. However, I released the slinky using various different magnitudes of force. I used a sensor (a LabQuest...
  9. CMATT

    Wave Speed & Wavelength of Harmonic Oscillation on Slinky

    (a) A wave traveling on a Slinky® that is stretched to 4.5 m takes 2.6 s to travel the length of the Slinky and back again. What is the speed of the wave? For this one, I did v = d/t = 4.5 m / 2.6 s = 1.73 m/s Then I did v = (1.73)(2) = 3.46 m/s This is correct (b) Using the same Slinky...
  10. A

    Solving the Slinky Wave Problem: HELP!

    Homework Statement A slinky with natural length of 3.00 meters, mass of 0.750 kg, and spring constant 18.0 N/m is stretched out along a floor, each end held by a seated person. The final length is 8.2 m. One end is plucked sending a transverse pulse. Find the pulse's travel time there AND back...
  11. B

    Does a slinky move up and down equally?

    Let's say there is a slinky being held up. If I pull the bottom of the slinky, it will keep oscillating/vibrating/swinging up and down continuously, until it comes to a stop. My question is, is the distance the slinky moves down the first time EQUAL to the distance it moves back upwards? Or...
  12. E

    Understanding the Dynamics of a Falling Slinky

    So I saw a video of a falling slinky in slow motion where a slinky is held at the top and is let to be stretched by gravity until gravity and spring pulling force equal out, when the top is let free, the bottom stays still until the top actually falls down reaching the bottom and discharging its...
  13. U

    How can I Create a Virtual Slinky with Python or Excel?

    Homework Statement Create a Virtual Slinky with Python (or Excel) Homework Equations F=-k*deltaT F= MA a whole bunch of other stuff (below) The Attempt at a Solution So, essentially, for a "grandiose math modeling/applied physics project I need to complete a seminar course, I...
  14. H

    Can Young's modulus be applied to slinky springs?

    Could somebody please tell me if we can apply young modulus theory to a slinky spring, or can only be applied to a rod when strenched?If possible to apply to the slinky spring, how can we calculate the elasticity of that slinky spring?by the way what is the process by which slinky springs are...
  15. M

    MHB The Unit Circle, the Sinusoidal Curve, and the Slinky....

    I seem to recall when taking college Trigonometry my professor saying that the unit circle and sinusoidal curves were basically a mathematical represention of a slinky in that the unit circle was the view of a slinky head on, so that what you saw in the two dimensional sense was a circle, and...
  16. O

    Slinky on an Escalator: Will it Move Forever?

    Inspired by something I saw today in the New Yorker Magazine, I cannot resist asking: Will a Slinky move down an up eccalator forever?
  17. C

    Solving Wave Pulse Problems in a Slinky: Speed & Tension

    Homework Statement A wave pulse travels down a slinky. The mass of the slinky is m = 0.86 kg and is initially stretched to a length L = 6.5 m. The wave pulse has an amplitude of A = 0.22 m and takes t = 0.494 s to travel down the stretched length of the slinky. The frequency of the wave...
  18. O

    Modelling a Falling Slinky w/ Lagrangian

    Homework Statement Hi everyone! This is not actually a homework problem, but I thought it was similar to one so I am putting it here. Basically I was watching this youtube video of a falling slinky and I decided I wanted to try modelling it with physical equations: The problem I have...
  19. I

    Comparing Beta: Baseball vs Balloon on a Slinky

    Homework Statement Does a baseball on a slinky have a smaller Beta, or balloon on a slinky? Explain. Homework Equations Beta = b/sqrt(mk) b: damping coefficient m: mass k: spring constant The Attempt at a Solution I see that the spring constant k is the same for either...
  20. U

    Maximum acceleration of a dot on a slinky?

    A dot (representing vibration) on a slinky exhibits simple harmonic motion as the longitudinal wave passes. The wave has an amplitude of 5,4 * 10^-3 m and a frquency of 4,0 Hz. Find the maximum acceleration of the dot. Please could you explain what equations to use and how to answer in...
  21. S

    Creating a Faraday's Cage With a Slinky

    Hi, I've wondered if there is a possibility to create a Faraday's cage with a metallic Slinky instead of using a metallic mesh? Thanks in advanced.
  22. T

    Why Does a Slinky Show a Sine Wave When Measuring Magnetic Fields?

    I'm trying to do this lab in physics where we are using sensors to find the magnetic field within a slinky with a current flowing through. Our graph(of time vs.magnetic field) keeps coming out as a sine wave. Is the wave equation for an electromagnetic wave applicable to find the magnitude of...
  23. J

    Explore Transverse & Longitudinal Waves with Slinky

    waves and sound I have some questions about transverse and longitudinal waves... In transverse wave, how does the amplitude of the waves affect its speed? we did a lab with a slinky but it was hard to see if it went faster or slower... Also, how does the tension of the spring change its...
  24. J

    Transverse longitudinal waves : slinky lab

    transverse longitudinal waves : slinky lab! so this lab we did is called the transmission and reflection of a one-dimensional transverse wave... 1. we created a transverse pulse from one side and observed a point near the middle of the spring as the pulse passed... - > so i wrote that it just...
  25. J

    Slinky springs and eq of motion.

    A mass is resting on a horizontal surface without friction. It is connected on both sides by slinky springs k1 and k2 (that is they have different spring constants, and the equilibrium position will not be in the center of the system). First I had to find the equation of motion after setting up...
  26. R

    Does Stretching a Slinky Affect Wave Speed?

    Everybody loves a slinky HELP! my variables f = frequency v = velocity y = wavelength Due to the equation v = yf what other factors could change 'v'? does the material condition (stretched) have any factors to change speed. These are some answers of the questions I have done. The...
  27. R

    Exploring Wave Speed in a Slinky

    The speed of a slinky Questions: i What happens to the speed of the wave if the material changes (ex. stretched) ii What happens to the speed of a pulse is reflected off one end of the material.
  28. O

    Standing Wave Formation in a Slinky: Calculating Distance Between Nodes

    I know this seems very basic, but I have a question about standing waves. For example, A slinky of length 3.15 m is tied with a light string on both ends such that both ends are free to move. When a person holding on to one of the light strings moves her arm at just the right frequency, a...
  29. G

    Exploring 12 Dimensions of Local Universe with Leibniz's Monadology

    i have a strange idea dimensions are a sort of address to define something as distinct from anyother thing in the local universe you must arbitrarily assign some start point then say so far forward or backward so far left or right and so far up or down but then you have to say at five...