1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Categorizing a Physics Demonstration

  1. Feb 22, 2015 #1
    I have a collection of springs and disks (masses) to choose from. I have a solid rod fixed to the ground. I slide a piece of sheet metal into the rod to act as a base. I now slide a disk into the rod. Then a spring. Then another disk. Then another spring. And one final disk. I now lift the system (from the sheet metal base) to a desired height. After releasing the system, it drops and we can observe conservation of momentum since the top-most disk will shoot upwards.

    Under what category of physics would you place this? I want to know what I have to research in order to analyze the physics behind this reaction. (My end goal is to maximize the speed at which that top most disk flies off.)

    I've looked into coupled, spring-mass systems, but I don't think that this will help me since my system is not so much coupled but sitting on each other.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    First quick dirty impression? Newton's cradle.
  4. Feb 23, 2015 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Perhaps I misunderstand the description but how does dropping the system cause the top disc "shoot upwards"?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Categorizing a Physics Demonstration
  1. Pinball Physics (Replies: 8)

  2. Semiconductor Physics (Replies: 1)