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Mini-Quiz: Derivation of How Newton's Cradle Works

by Ron Kurtus (updated 9 January 2023)

Take this Mini-Quiz to check your understanding of the lesson material.

1. What laws are used to derive the motion of the balls in Newton's Cradle?

Laws of Consolidation of Momentum and Energy

Laws that objects must be in direct contact

Laws of Conservation of Momentum and Energy

2. What happens when balls are slightly separated?

Movement is a result of a series of simple collisions

They attract each other to become a solid object

The derivation becomes impossible to solve

3. Why is considering the balls as small linear springs difficult?

The mathematics can be complex

It is difficult to attach springs to the balls

It is only valid at very low temperatures

If you got all three correct, you are on your way to becoming a Champion in Physics. If you had problems, you had better look over the material again.

It's fun to figure things out

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


Newton's Cradle - by Donald Simanek, Lock Haven University

Newton's cradle - Wikipedia

How Newton’s Cradles Work -

Conservation of Momentum - Mathematical explanation from the University of Winnipeg, Canada

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