A teacher and his brother who worked at Bally's pinball division designed and built the walnut crusher as a prototype exhibit for the Lederman Science Center. The device uses electromagnets to accelerate one-inch steel bearings in oval tracks. The magnets are switched on and off by photodiode switches, which the ball triggers as it goes over each magnet.
Accelerated Particles: One-inch steel bearings
Accelerating Propellent: Switch-operated electromagnets
Variables to Investigate
- Cameras: still or video
- Computer/calculator interfaces
- Sensors: force & photogates
Safety: The tracks and collision area are under a sheet of clear plastic.
- Terminal speed
- Energy as a function of number of revolutions in the track
- Destructive energy in bearings of different energy
- Fixed-target or colliding mode
ProblemsLimits to analogy:
- Cannot create particles more massive than the original.
- Cannot create particles from the accelerated bearings.
Excellent Good Acceptable Marginal Yuk
EASY CONSTRUCTION COST DRAMA QUANTITATIVE Resources
RESOURCES AND CONTACTS
Tom Jordan has one in his office.