Orbits and the Solar System

A presentation to project ARISE teachers and students at Shasta College, 29 September 2003.

Free Fall

Freefall Candle, observe how a candle burns in freefall.

Drop Bottle, Poke a hole in the bottom side of a 2 Liter bottle fill the bottle with water. Remove the top and water shoots from the hole. Drop the bottle and the water flow stops in freefall.

Bubble Tube, a plastic tube full of water contains an air bubble. Hold the tube vertically then flip it over and watch the bubble rise. Drop the tube when the bubble is halfway up the tube, it stops rising.

Slinky Astronaut spine, drop a slinky and it will behave like and astronaut spine.

Dart Gun and Washer, put a steel washer around the shaft of a dart in a dart gun. Shoot the dart and the dart and the washer will hit the floor at the same time.

Orbits

Stocking Force Visualization, The stretch on a stocking shows the force it is exerting.

Bowling Ball and Broom, push a bowling ball around with a broom, see the force exerted by the broom by its bend. To make the ball go around in a circle the broom pushes it toward the center of the circle.

Water bucket overhead, a bucket of water can be spun in a circle overhead. The water stays inside the bucket as long as it goes around in a circle fast enough. Gravity provides the force to keep the water moving toward the center of the circle.

Confetti bucket overhead, Switch buckets in the above experiment and use one full of confetti instead. Stop the bucket overhead and get a confetti bath.

Gravity Well, roll balls and coins around inside various shaped wells, balloons, and funnels.

Spin a Koosh, Model the equatorial bulge of the earth by spinning a koosh ball.

Bouncing Balls

Tennis ball on a basketball, A tennis ball can gain energy when it is bounced on top of a basketball. Bouncing Egg, substitute and egg for a tennis ball for more excitement.

Magnetic Silent Collisions, Collide two magnets on a pencil.