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!

Rube Goldberg!

  1. Apr 3, 2006 #1
    allright so i'm constructing a rube goldberg device as a side physics independent project and it has to go through ten steps to achieve the final outcome of lighting a bulb. i need some ideas for steps i'm drawin a blank.

    it has to go through 5 different energy changes like potential, kinetic, rotational, electrical, light, magnetic, or stored chemical

    some help guys?
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2006 #2
    i got a pool ball rolling down a hill and knocking over a stack of dominos so i got rotational kinetic and linear kinetic taken care of but i need 8 more steps b4 i get to the light bulb
  4. Apr 4, 2006 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Electromagnets are always good for this too.
  5. Apr 4, 2006 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You can do something where you put a balloon over a flask with water in it, then have something turn on a heater to boil the water which will inflate the balloon, which will knock something over
  6. Apr 5, 2006 #5


    User Avatar

    Or you could lay a piece of bread on a scale, and wait for mold to grow on and increase the mass measured which would move the scale, that would drop a piece of tobacco, then a Dave the squirrel would scamper over to the tobacco, but then he would be shocked with 10,000 volts and his temperature would go up which would...
  7. Apr 9, 2006 #6
    Gotta have a bowling ball!!
  8. Apr 9, 2006 #7


    User Avatar

    Ooooh yes, most important. And a shotguns.
  9. Apr 9, 2006 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Well, it would be defintely cool if somewhere along the line you lit a fire. Not sure how you're going to do it - light a match? Flint & steel? An electrical igniter? Or what you'll burn. Especially if you want to keep it reasonably safe.

    Safest thing I can think of off hand is to light some sterno with an electric igniter that they use for model rockets.

    Once you get the fire started, though, you can heat a kettle of water until it bolis. THis will drive something that spins around - with enough force to turn a crank. That can lift a gate to let a ball roll out or something.

    Maybe that's too complicated, but it'd be a nice classic idea.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook