Experiment 16: The Pendulum Wave Machine

Try This at Home!

You've Seen the Videos, Get the Book

How to Build a HovercraftAir Cannons, Magnet Motors, and 25 Other Amazing DIY Science Projects

Buy on AmazonBuy at Barnes & Noble

More experiments you can do >>

The Viral Video Manifesto

Get Our Book on What Makes Videos Go Viral

The Viral Video Manifesto"Voltz and Grobe have deciphered the magic of making viral videos."
—Stafford Green, The Coca-Cola Company

Buy on AmazonBuy at Barnes & Noble

YouTube Preview Image

A row of pendulums create hypnotic patterns as they come in and out of phase with each other.

Like the music in this video? Visit AudioBody.com.
No Comments     |     Add your comment     |     Embed code

Experiment 16: The Pendulum Wave Machine
In this experiment, fifteen simple pendulums, each slightly longer than the next, create a mesmerizing display almost like a kaleidoscope. When you start them all swinging, they swing together. But as they continue to swing, different pendulums synchronize with each other while others fall out of phase. At one point, every third pendulum synchronizes, so you can see three distinct “waves” in the swinging pendulums. After a few more seconds, every other pendulum is synchronized, so you can see two waves moving through each other. And finally, amazingly, after a minute or so, all the pendulums come back into phase with each other, as the machine returns to one synchronized wave.

Get all the details on how to do this yourself in our book, How to Build a Hovercraft.

More Cool Stuff

Pendulum waves – with bowling balls.

Classic video from Harvard.

Share your photos, videos, questions, and tips in the comments below!

No Comments     |     Add your comment