Inertia
Forces and Motion

Head Hanger

At home for 5-11 11-14


What you need

  • A metal clothes hanger
  • Plasticine
  • An adult to help

Instructions

  1. Straighten out the clothes hanger and then bend it into an ‘M’ shape with long ‘legs’
  2. Make two equal-sized Plasticine balls and stick them on to the legs of the M
  3. Balance the hanger on your head with the Plasticine balls well away from your ears. This might take some practice
  4. Spin round quickly. (Be careful of the ends of the hanger and your face)

Results and Explanation

As you turn, the hanger remains almost stationary! The friction between your head and the wire is very low so the hanger doesn’t move with you.

These experiments have not been specifically safety tested for home use but we believe them to be safe if the instructions are followed. Adult supervision or direction is recommended as appropriate. All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

Inertia
is formalised by Newton's First Law
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