NYU Physics Demos

Inertial Dinner Plates

Topics: Mechanics - Inertia

Equipment: Dinner Plates (2), small plate (1), spoons (2), forks (3), Knives (2), Tablecloth

Setup: Set the table. Pull the tablecloth. Magic.

Inertia is the tendency of an object to stay at rest. When the tablecloth is pulled slowly, the static friction between the dishware and tablecloth will keep the dishware in place on the cloth as it moves. But if the tablecloth is pulled rapidly, the inertia of the plates is enough to overcome the force of static friction.

Location: Shelf B-h6


Keywords: Force, Pull, Friction, Ceramic, Utensil

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