Your Source for
Travelling and Permanent Exhibits

Newton Balls


Newton balls consists of five balls having equal masses. The setup illustrates the three main physics principles at work: conservation of energy, conservation of momentum and friction. The principle of the conservation of momentum (mass times speed) states that when two objects collide, the total momentum of the objects before the collision is equal to the total momentum of the objects after the collision. When you release the one ball, it gains velocity. According to conservation of momentum principle, the momentum of the first ball is transferred to the second ball as it hits it. Then to the next one. So the last ball gains the momentum of the initial one and moves with its velocity. Pull up one ball and release, only one ball in the other side moves, pull up two, two balls will react, and so on.