Kermit's What-Happens-Next-Machine

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This Demonstration calculates the motion in time of Kermit's legendary What-Happens-Next-Machine from Sesame Street. A mass is dropped onto a seesaw. The seesaw pulls a rope that opens the lid of a box, from which a balloon is freed that switches on a radio. Quite entertaining, but unfortunately for the physicist on Sesame Street, bugs and breakdowns flaw the performance. Here a functioning machine is simulated. You can also try out which masses, heights, and lever lengths cannot free the balloon.

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Of course, do not touch any controls once you have clicked the trigger. Resetting the timer before changing parameters makes sense. Attention: too large a time step will make nonsense of the calculation.

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Contributed by: Ursula Schroeter (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


Snapshots


Details

A longer lever on which to drop the sandbag is not necessarily a better way to pull up the lid of the box. For more details, see the preprint: "Kermit's What-Happens-Next-Machine Reloaded".



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