The Story of
the Automaton

Putting It In Motion...

For Teachers

For Students

For Reference
"Build a Newton's Cradle "

You can create a version of the popular toy that was named after Sir Isaac Newton using a few simple supplies.

Try an interactive Java Applet that demonstrates Newton's Cradle by clicking here.

Things You Will Need:

A shoe box
3 large beads
Tempra Paint
Modeling Clay

What To Do:

  1. Paint the shoebox a bright color and let it dry.
  2. Cut a piece of string (you will have to experiment to determine the length, depending on the size of your shoebox.) and push one end through the hole in one of the beads.
  3. Loop the string around the bead and push it back through the hole again.
  4. Pull the string tight.
  5. Repeat the instructions above using each of the remaining two beads.
  6. Place the first bead in the center of the shoebox, pull the string over the opposite edges of the box and tape it in place.
  7. Stick the bead to the base of the box with a lump of modeling clay.
  8. Place the other two beads into the box on either side of the first (fixed) bead and tape their strings in place. (these beads should just touch the middle bead.)
  9. Pull back the first bead and let it go.

The bead you pull back should hit the middle bead and stop. The last bead should then spring away.