May 23rd, 2012
The letter this week is the Slinky S
and S does stand for Slinky
Did you ever play with a Slinky?
Did your children?
Or perhaps your grandchildren?
Wasn't it fun!!!!
The Slinky's inventor, Richard James ( a naval engineer) decided to demonstrate his new toy at Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia in the the early 1940s though he really didn't think anyone would buy it because it was so simple.
Contrary to his expectations it was a great success
and remains the same today, as it did at Gimbels.
"The Slinky, like all objects, tends to resist change in its motion.
Because of this inertia if it were placed at the top of the stairs it would stay at rest, without moving at all.
At this point it has potential or stored energy.
But once it is started down the stairs and gravity affects it, the potential energy
is created to kinetic energy, and the Slinky gracefully tumbles coil by coil down the stairs".
As the slinky moves down the steps energy is transferred along its length
in a longitudinal wave, rather like a sound wave that travels
through a substance by transferring a pulse of energy to the next molecule.
How quickly the wave moves depends on the spring constant and the mass of the metal
(I read that online!)
James had developed the Slinky for the Navy as an anti-vibration device for ship instruments.
When it failed to work for the Navy it became the successful toy it still is,
mesmerizing and amazing!
For more interesting S words sneak on over to ABC Wednesday,