Balancing Act – Cylinder Strength
A piece of paper uses physics to balance a textbook... and much more!
If someone told you that they could balance a full-size text book on a piece of paper, you might call up the looney bin. That's a crazy idea, right? Well, the notion that a book can sit, precariously, atop a plain piece of paper isn't quite as bonkers as you might think! With a little knowledge of physics and geometrical shapes, you can perform the Balancing Act, too.
- Piece of paper
- Rubber band
- Other items to balance(You choose. Be creative!)
- Try to balance the textbook on a rolled up piece of paper. Use whatever method you want, but we'll bet you can't do it! Try rolling the paper up, making an arch… try everything.
- Now roll the paper into a cylinder, length-wise, and wrap a rubber band around the tube to hold it in shape.
- Now try balancing the textbook on top of the paper cylinder. Like magic, the tube can now support the entire weight of the textbook!
- Looking at the cylinder, you might think the paper cylinder could support way more weight than just the textbook. There's only one way to find out! Find other items to balance on top of the text book. It's probably a good idea to keep the items unbreakable, because at some point, you'll have too much weight on there.
- How many items were you able to get on top of the paper cylinder before it collapsed? Take all of those items to a scale and get a weight. Holy fright, that's a lot of weight… all balanced atop a piece of paper!