Consisting of a stack of four balls centered on a peg, the AstroBlaster is more than just a toy, it's a mind-blowing demonstration of the laws of conservation of momentum. The AstroBlaster was designed by Dr. Stirling Colgate, an astrophysicist, to show how particles in a supernova end up launching throughout space.
Wait, this demonstrates a supernova how? It's easy! Just drop the balls, vertically, so the large blue ball hits first and watch as the smallest, red ball jettisons into the air. The red ball can blast over five times the initial drop height! Now that's what we call a hands-on science demonstration.
- Launch peg with large blue ball (5.75" tall, 2" diameter)
- Green ball (1.5" diameter)
- Yellow ball (1" diameter)
- Three red launch balls (0.75" diameter)
- One size fits most
How Does It Work?
The AstroBlaster uses proven physics equations to demonstrate the laws of conservation of momentum. When dropped vertically, the balls collide in such a way that the smallest, red ball launches higher than the initial drop height. This is all possible because of the carefully calculated masses of each ball.
What Does It Teach?
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- For safety reasons, yes. You need to wear safety glasses (not necessarily the included pair) to protect your eyes from the rapidly launching red ball.
- Make sure that you are dropping the AstroBlaster as close to vertical as possible. This will make sure that the exchange of momentum between balls is the best possible.