Marvin & Milo

Bead fountain

 
Bead fountain

 

 

What you need: 

A long string of beads

A circular glass container

A table

 

Instructions

Coil the beads carefully into the container so you have layers of circles, one on top of the other.

Lift the container high. Take the free end of the beads and flick it quickly over the side of the container. 

Results & explanation

All the beads should “flow” out of the container without help. When they’re moving fast they should even jump higher than the rim of the container.

The weight of the falling beads creates a tension in the chain that acts to pull the rest of the beads in the container up and over the rim. But not all physicists agree on the exact reason!

 

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See more on physics.org