chain of bead

Gravity Defying Chain of Beads

By Anupum Pant

Chain of Beads

Suppose, you have a neat pile of a really long chain of beads in a beaker (Newton’s beads) and you give one end of the beads a tug and let it drop on the floor, what do you think will happen?

Steve Mould, a YouTuber, did the same with a 8000 bead chain. It was 50 meter long chain of beads placed neatly in a container. Then, after he tugged it out and let it drop, the chain mysteriously formed an arc above the beaker and continued to self-siphon away till the end. Just like a water-siphon.

Watch it in video to see what happens. [Video]

What keeps it going?

To figure out what was actually going on here and to understand the exact physics of it, a group of physicists recorded the “gravitational defiance” using a hi-speed camera. Here is a five-minute long video-bliss, brought to you by the Earth Unplugged channel. [video]
As Steve explains, it is like a tug-of war between the outer chain and the inner chain. The inner chain has to keep up with the fast-moving outer chain. As a result, it [the inner chain] goes up fast. It builds up momentum and is unable to stop itself. So, it ends up forming that arc while it is trying to slow down and change direction.

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