VIDEO: Physics of the Slinky

In the first edition of the Teen Science Café Networks Science Show, Host Tommy helps us explore a pretty neat party trick, while teaching us the physics of why a slinky falls the way it does when dropped. Tommy and the crew enlist the help of a Dr. Elizabeth Sooby Wood, a Physicist from Los Alamos National Laboratory to explain the science of the fall.

The crew even drop two slinky’s taped together from a four-story building to show the physics work in any condition. With the help of a trained professional, of course.

Stay tuned to see what Tommy and his crew come up with on the next Teen Science Café Network Science Show.

History of The Slinky

Mechanical engineer Richard James invented theSlinky by accident. In 1943, he was working to devise springs that could keep sensitive ship equipment steady at sea. After accidentally knocking some samples off a shelf, he watched in amazement as they gracefully “walked” down instead of falling.

Unfortunately the navy expressed no interest in his invention. His wife was the one who coined the name slinky and thought to sell it as a toy.