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View Full Version : Demonstrating The Difficulty Of Solar Launchs To Kids With A Park Merry-go-round...



BigDon
2013-Jun-30, 11:00 PM
Is an excellent way to get hit in the face with a baseball.

I was the Sun, of course. I had my little helper toss the baseball to one of his friends who was watching while others spun us. A little toss no problem.

"Now throw it to me!"

And the first time he tossed it to me it went as expected. Well, as I expected. The kids were all amazed at the gyrations the ball seemed to take relative to the thrower and myself.

When he got the ball back I told him to try again. Where I failed was neglecting to tell our pushers to speed it up a bit. They had actually slowed down a little bit to watch as they were as surprised as the rest of the crowd.

Told him to try again, only throw it harder. And caught it right in the face.

I had my hands too far apart, plus balance issue were beginning to set in from the spin up as well.

but I'll bet everybody will remember the demonstration.

Tobin Dax
2013-Jul-01, 11:00 PM
My favorite homework assignment ever involved doing just that. It was for a junior-year physics course, so a half-dozen twenty-one-or-so-year-olds ended up at a park fairly near to the campus, playing on a merry-go-round and tossing toy tribbles* around. It was a blast and it was really helpful to actually see the pseudo-forces in action within a rotating reference frame.

*I figured my noise-making tribbles would be more fun to toss around than a ball, if anybody in the group had one. They were.

ASTRO BOY
2013-Jul-02, 01:38 AM
Is an excellent way to get hit in the face with a baseball.

I was the Sun, of course. I had my little helper toss the baseball to one of his friends who was watching while others spun us. A little toss no problem.

"Now throw it to me!"

And the first time he tossed it to me it went as expected. Well, as I expected. The kids were all amazed at the gyrations the ball seemed to take relative to the thrower and myself.

When he got the ball back I told him to try again. Where I failed was neglecting to tell our pushers to speed it up a bit. They had actually slowed down a little bit to watch as they were as surprised as the rest of the crowd.

Told him to try again, only throw it harder. And caught it right in the face.

I had my hands too far apart, plus balance issue were beginning to set in from the spin up as well.

but I'll bet everybody will remember the demonstration.



Hehehe, nice one BigDon!
My favourite experiment I once showed my young bloke was that [1] combustion needs Oxygen and [2] that it was 20% of the atmosphere, and [3] Nature abhores a vacuum via the "bell jar"experiment....you know the one, a jar in a tub of water with a small dish with a candle burning, then replace the stopper in the neck of the jar, and voila, all 3 facts proven in one foul swoop!

BigDon
2013-Jul-02, 10:26 PM
It was also the unexpected transition from underhand to overhand throwing.

I did tell him to throw it harder.