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How to make a Newton Cradle

  1. Jan 24, 2016 #1
    I want to make a Newton Cradle. Just wondering how I can reduce the loss of energy so the balls keep bumping for a long time
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2016 #2


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    (1) Use balls made from very hard materials . Hardened steel or Chromium plated steel are commonly used .

    (2) Have precisely aligned , identical and accurately repeating suspensions for the balls .

    (3) If you want it to run for really extended periods you could devise an electromechanical energiser to give the balls a kick now and then .
  4. Jan 24, 2016 #3
    Is there anyway I can make a mechanical energizer rather than an electrical energizer? And how long do you think it will run if I don't have an energizer.
  5. Jan 24, 2016 #4
    Also, does the amount of balls have an effect on the cradle?
  6. Jan 24, 2016 #5


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    Newton's cradles seldom run for more than a few minutes without having to be restarted .

    A solenoid device and a timer would be simple enough to make . If you want to have a purely mechanical energiser then you could get some inspiration from old type clock mechanisms .

    Not much to do with Newton's Cradles but quite fun :

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