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1D50.45 - Penny on a Coat Hanger

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​1D50.45 - Penny on a Coat Hanger

Title1D50.45 - Penny on a Coat Hanger

To show centripetal force.​

Assembly Instructions

Get the bent coat hanger and a penny.​

Setup Time5
Operation Time5
Preview Time5
Operation Instructions

Hang the bent coat hanger from your index finger with the hook nearest the floor. Carefully balance a penny on the end of the hook. Spin the coat hanger around your finger in a vertical circle.​


Demo on DimeYes
PIRA 200No
Export Instructions (if different)

​The centripetal foce created by the hook on the penny will keep the penny firmly attached to the hook as the aparatus is being spun. Be careful not to bump the hanger while in motion, or the penny will become dislodged. If the class is quiet, they can listen for the sound of a dopped penny. With practice, the penny can be brought to rest while still balanced on the hook. If sucessful, to prove the penny is not glued to the hanger, a quick flick of the hanger will send the penny to the floor.

Category1 Mechanics
Subcategory1D - Motion in Two Dimensions
Construction Information
When the coat hanger is manufactured, there is typically a small drip of lacquer on the end of the hook. This drip must be sanded flat.
Bent Coat Hanger