We describe a set of conceptual and hands-on activities based around understanding the dynamics of a Slinky that is hung vertically and released from rest. This Slinky drop experiment typically lasts a fraction of a second, but when observed in slow motion, one sees the Slinky compress from the top down while the bottom portion remains at rest—naively seeming to defy gravity—until the Slinky has completed its collapse. The motion, or lack thereof, of the bottom of the Slinky after the top is released sparks student curiosity by challenging expectations and provides motivation and context for learning about scientific model building.
The Physics Teacher – American Association of Physics Teachers
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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