5 Fun Physics Phenomena

Five cool physics tricks, but how do they work?
Explanations: http://youtu.be/jIMihpDmBpY
Check out Audible.com: http://bit.ly/AudibleVe
Leave your ideas in the comments below or subscribe for the answers next week.

Chris Hadfield in AUS: http://sciencealert.com.au/spaceoddity/
All tickets now sold out.

The Cane Balance:
Slide your fingers in from the ends of a horizontal cane to find its centre of mass.

Shot and Edited by Pierce Cook at the YouTube Space LA.

Music by Amarante: http://bit.ly/VeAmarante


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  1. My guess is that for the cane, the sum of the moments has to be zero for it to balance. Assuming the coefficient is constant along the cane, as you move your fingers closer together, the finger closest to the center of mass has a greater downward force on it than the other finger. Because of frictio, this means that the finger with less force on it slides more easily, keeping the sum of the moments at zero, until finally they meet at the center of mass.

  2. just broke 3 i phones. sorry jb hifi. 🙂
    on the plus side, you were right, and this flip thing with rotation makes it harder to catch.
    Also, i paused the video directly after you said tbag rocket, as i was sure i already knew this one. my girlfriend was not impressed to wake up with my balls in her mouth. there was no rocket phenomenon, but there were a few punches and foul words from her. i tried to explain the science of a tbag rocket, but she saw no humour in it. fyi, she said she will punch you if she sees you in the street. sorry dude. but the tbag rocket was a fail.

  3. the first trick i caused because when you go to the center of mass with your right hand, for example, it tips over and it makes the right side heavier so it has more friction than the left side so the left-hand moves and the right doesn't and then the same thing happens with the left hand and so on until you reach the center of mas

  4. Obviously you are smart enough to sense the center of mass, serial has chopped bikes. You are creating a oxigen vacum and the water is being pulled by the van dr waals forces

  5. 3:49 This is actually one of traditional games in my country. But normally we use an oil paper or newspaper. First we glue every end of corner each other, then we make a little hole at the center by using a needle. Then we blow the paper from the hole until it expands like a pillow. Finally we light every corner of the pillow paper at the same time. It will fly and look like a Japanese fireball ghost in the sky

  6. #1:The end further from the center of gravity pushes less hard on your hand.
    #2: The air pushes on a greater surface area of the phone. This makes it very unstable.
    #4: cereal has iron in it.
    #5: The tea bag is porous so it holds some of the hot air in the paper. Once it burns down enough, the tea bag is light enough to lift off.

  7. Number 1 is the normal force and friction. The further the finger from the center of mass, the less Fn it has thus less Fs it has when compared to the closer finger…therefore the further finger will slide while closer finger wont slide. This will happen alternatively between left and right finger until both finger arrive at the center of mass.

    Number 2 is because our hand just cant perfectly execute the flip on the center axis of the phone with the left and right side being balance. And also the different component within the phone might not be uniformly distributed thus causing the left and right having different inertia, thus the difficulty.
    With old type nokia, I like to flip them so that they rotate chaotically and then land perfectly on my open palm. With current smart phone however…

    3 4 5 no idea at all.

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