MECHANICS - NEWTON'S FIRST LAW - INERTIA OF REST NC State University Faculty Access

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Table Cloth Pull
# 1F20.30


Description: A classic demonstration of the inertia of rest! A quick pull of the tablecloth and everything remains on the table.

Instructions: Lay out the table cloth and the dishes, etc. on top of it. Do not lay the dishes too close to the edge, as a little bit of motion should be expected. Leave some slack in the table cloth so your hands will come up to speed before the cloth becomes taut. Make sure that you pull straight back, and don't snap the table cloth like a whip. A rocking motion of your whole body will work better than just using your arms, and will make for a more visual presentation.

Hazards: Just a little embarrassment if your technique is lacking! ;)

Parts: Table cloth
Unbreakable dishes
Silverware
A breakable flower vase

Purchased/Built: built

Setup Time: 5 min

Quant. in Demo Room: 1

Demo References
Freier and Anderson Mc-4b Pull the tablecloth out from under a place setting.
The Video Encyclopedia of Physics Demonstrations Disc 02-15 Pull a low friction tablecloth from under a place setting.
The Physics Teacher TPT 15(4),242 Pictures and a few hints.

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