Weekly Optical Illusion: Amazing Bead Chain Experiment

At first glance, when you watch the beads literally “jump” out of the container, it appears that they have taken on a life of their own. However, according “Earth Unplugged” who were the original creators of this video, something much more scientifically and physically possibly is happening than… well, than metal beads on a chain coming to life. Essentially what is happening is purely a matter of physics: the force of the pulling chain dropping to the ground is enough to perpetuate the rest of the chain being “pulled” out of the jar. The large “arc” that develops as the chain exit the glass beaker is just a result of the chain being in perpetual motion and being forced up, and then down. Still, no matter how you slice it… it’s very fascinating to watch.

What do you think? Any alternate theories?

One Response

  1. Michael Stern says:

    Okay, so I want to do this demonstration for my 5th grade class in Vallejo, CA. I shopped for beaded chains and found they come in different metals and of varying gauges. What works best for this experiment? (Finding out would be a great experiment in itself, but these beaded chains are rather expensive!)

    Thanks.

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