Thursday, 30 June 2011

Balancing Forks

Balancing Forks
Difficulty: 4 out of a possible 10 easy but may take some practice
·        Two forks
·        One toothpick
·        One glass filled with water
1.     Start by pushing the forks together (technically referred to as wedging the tines of the forks).
2.     Balance the forks on your finger to find the middle point. This is where the toothpick should be inserted between the fingers (tines) of the fork.
3.     Carefully rest the toothpick on the rim of the glass. Just slide the toothpick back and forth along the rim until you think you've found the perfect balancing point. Slowly pull your hands away to reveal the amazing balancing fork contraption.
4.     You can add another step by lighting the tooth pick on fire.
The forks should balance on the glass, this picture is a much better indication of what should happen:

Even after the tooth pick is gone (Because of the fire) the forks should still remain balanced!
Center of gravity: The center of gravity of any object is the point about which you can balance the object as if all the masses were concentrated or gathered at this point. In other words, it's the point at which the object balances from left to right, front and back, and top and bottom. In your balancing fork act, the center of gravity is directly below the spot where the toothpick rests on the rim of the glass. If you look closely at your balancing fork-art, you'll notice that the fork handles are positioned below the toothpick. This actually puts the center of gravity directly below the point where the toothpick is balanced (called the pivot point). Here's where it gets really strange: the center of gravity, where the forks balance front and back, left and right, top and bottom, is actually hanging in mid-air.

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