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  • Gloria Hoffner

Science of a Rope Swing

Spring is here and with warm weather comes the chance to enjoy the outdoors. Here is a fun experiment to do outdoors on your community patio. How do motorcycle rides ride a vertical loop and not fall when upside down? Materials: Bucket, rubber ball, and 24 inch rope. Process: Tie the rope to the bucket handle. Place the ball in the bucket. In an outdoor area several feet away from residents, swing the bucket over your head in circles as fast as possible. Result: What happens to the ball? The ball stays in the bucket just as the motorcycle stays on the loop due to centrifugal force. This force happens when the whirling motion of the bucket equals the force of gravity, thus the ball is pulled to the sides of the bucket rather than down and out.

**If you are really strong and brave, replace the ball with water! Spin fast and save yourself from an unexpected bath!


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