# Paracord Newton's Cradle (Kiteman's Balls)

5 Steps
Fascinating. Mesmerizing.  You can stare at it for hours.  Play with it all you want.  This device demonstrates the conservation of energy and momentum.  When you swing one ball and it knocks into the next, it will transfer the energy from one ball to the other.  Of course, we do have some real world friction and chafing from the paracord so that might prove to be an irritant and affect the performance somewhat.

This version of the Newton's Cradle consists of an uneven number of balls in a linear formation which are suspended by paracord from a structure that lets them swing freely between such supports.

I would think every Science teacher like Instructables member Kiteman or those of the scientific mind should have one handy to demonstrate some fundamental laws of physics.

Disclaimer: Ahem, it failed to perform as expected.  But don't let this stop you from having a good time building it, only make the necessary changes described in the text.
Fn comments on this instructable, this is something completely different. The following instructable contains discussion of a frank nature and may not be suitable for all.  Pun accordingly.

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## Step 1: Materials on hand...

For this project you need...

* Paracord or similar string/twine/rope
Hey, I found some paracord in cool Instructables reddish/orange.

* An odd pair of balls - dense spherical objects - should be an uneven number like 3 or 5.  I used golf balls, you will be might be lucky enough to have ones made of brass.  There do exist Newton's Cradles made with bowling balls so size does matter.

* Tape to cover the golf ball if needed

* Two dowels, sticks, pencils, chopsticks or drumsticks to use as horizontal support rods

* Cardboard and glue for the support structure.

* Picture of your favorite character for decoration.
daredevil499 says: Jun 3, 2012. 12:09 AM
do you play drums?
ilpug says: Mar 20, 2012. 10:33 AM
could you drill a hole in the top and hook it up to an eye hook? That keeps you from having to balls in bondage.
woodstockbirdy in reply to ilpugMay 17, 2012. 8:31 PM
That's not inappropriate at all.
ilpug in reply to woodstockbirdyMay 17, 2012. 8:54 PM
No, it isn't.
bakedicecream says: Nov 23, 2011. 11:03 AM
FAIL
Daniel Deacon says: Aug 28, 2011. 7:42 PM
looks nice it might be better to use metal balls :)
superMacaroni says: Sep 23, 2010. 2:05 AM
At first, I thought these were hanging ice cream scoops covered in orange stuff.
Kiteman says: Apr 15, 2010. 2:46 AM
>wince<

Anybody wishing to play with my balls more efficiently should try and make sure nothing soft gets caught between them...

The paracord is absorbing the energy of the impacts and releasing it too slowly.  That's why you get the inelastic collisions that make my balls stick together.

Maybe, instead of a monkey's fist, you could try a Turk's Head knot (same family of knots as the monkey fist) around the "equator" of the golf balls, leaving plenty of uncovered surface for collisions?

Plus, as somebody else said, use steel ball-bearings if you can.

king kolton9 in reply to KitemanAug 24, 2010. 5:04 AM
im new to knot tieing (no boy scout Experecience)
king kolton9 in reply to KitemanAug 24, 2010. 5:03 AM
but then where would the string hang it
"That's why you get the inelastic collisions that make my balls stick together."
You know what happens if you try to think under pressure...for the contest, that is.
king kolton9 says: Aug 23, 2010. 5:19 PM
how about crazy/hot glueing it together it drys quic so you don't have to worry about holding it and the balls together without the cord touching or drill a hole and take the cord and put it through anybody???
king kolton9 in reply to king kolton9Aug 23, 2010. 5:59 PM
will it work???
You could try it, but I think the balls would rip off after a few collisions since the glossy hard surface of the ball and elastic paracord don't make for the best of mating surfaces for permanent adhesion. Also, for the paracord contest, the idea was to only use the paracord to secure the golf ball and suspend it between the rigid supports.
king kolton9 in reply to king kolton9Aug 23, 2010. 5:20 PM
quick
corey_caffeine says: May 15, 2010. 3:52 AM
i looked at these comments expecting hundreds of jokes about kiteman's balls and was not disappointed
Quality over quantity, as we always say.  As long as you've got one that works.
Warlrosity says: Apr 15, 2010. 3:04 AM
Playing with them for hours? Do you play with Kitemans balls much?
No, one would probably spend the rest of the time thinking about it.
skimmo says: Apr 11, 2010. 2:03 AM
it doesnt demonstrate newtons pricaple, the ones in the middle should stay still
In theory it does, you just have to build a better mousetrap.
i dont under stand
"to build a better mousetrap" comes from an expression that you can build something more simple or complicated in order to get the job done.

You can research Newton's cradles but essentially they are the same setup.  The golf balls should have sufficient mass to create a force to transfer the energy to the next.  As in any experiment, you have to figure out what can contribute to the error of your perfect conditions.  Golf balls do have some "bounce", the paracord provides some cushioning, has some stretch like a spring, is unevenly placed on the ball, etc.  Good setups of Newton's cradles use heavy steel balls suspended on thin wires or taut monofiliment line in a rigid frame.  A failed experiment can teach you as much as one that works from the start.

The second video clip I added does show it working somewhat.  Even though there is only one bounce of the opposite ball.  The middle one does stay still as the energy is transmitted through it.
you might get better success with fishing line, it wont be such a dampener
Yeah, but it was the paracord contest in mind. Thanks.
hmmmmmm i see
Stormdrane says: Apr 12, 2010. 9:25 AM
Perhaps using ball bearings for the cores and then soaking the tied paracord with super glue would improve the effect.  The super glue would harden the paracord to reduce the shock absorbtion and the heavier/denser ball bearings might have enough weight to keep it going... maybe...
The challenge was really to see if I could only use paracord to suspend whatever core is used as the swinging object.  I guess you might be able to tie the monkey's fist so it doesn't get in the way but that might take a lot of twiddling to get it right.
Biggsy says: Apr 9, 2010. 4:46 AM
Hours of fun for the whole family playing with Kitemans ba... I er mean...  a newtons cradle
and what if the whole class was watching?...
RavingMadStudios says: Apr 10, 2010. 9:46 PM
Very ballsy project. Even though the final result was a little hairy, I bet if you gave your binding a little more scrotiny and scratched some of the excess wrapping, you'd get bouncier bits. Or maybe I'm just nuts.