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ERIC Number: EJ1056944
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Drinking-Straw Microbalance and Seesaw: Stability and Instability
Chapman, Peter; Glasser, Leslie
Physics Teacher, v53 n3 p165-168 Mar 2015
The mechanics of a beam balance are little appreciated and seldom understood. We here consider the conditions that result in a stable balance, with center of gravity below the fulcrum (pivot point), while an unstable balance results when the center of gravity is above the fulcrum. The highly sensitive drinking-straw microbalance, which uses a plastic drinking straw as a rigid beam, is briefly described with some slight convenient modifications. Different placements of the center of gravity are considered analytically to explain the equilibrium neutrality, stability, and instability of such beam balances as the microbalance, the playground "seesaw" or "teeter-totter," the "dipping bird," and other toys and magic tricks.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail: pubs@aapt.org; Web site: http://scitation.aip.org/tpt
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A