Here’s a simple science experiment that is sure to get a WOW! This is one of those cool tricks that you really don’t expect, so it’s super fun to watch. These beads are called anti-gravity beads or inertia beads, and basically, they are just a chain of small plastic beads.
We bought this Sick Science Gravity Beads set at a local educational store (affiliate link), but any string of beads will work. I’ve seen people use Mardi Gras beads or something similar.
Click the play button to watch the video. It’s really cool!
The first step to this cool science trick is to load the beads very carefully into a jar or cup. The beads need to be layered neatly, and they need to not be tangled with each other.
Then just give the beads a little tug! It doesn’t take much!
The whole string of beads will propel itself out of the jar REALLY quickly. It’s all done in about 4 seconds!
The Science Behind these Gravity Beads:
When you give the string of beads a tug, the weight of the beads falling out of the glass is enough to pull more beads out. Those beads pull more beads out, and so on, since the beads are all attached in a chain.
At first glance, it looks like the weight of the beads remaining in the jar would be enough to keep the whole string of beads in the jar, but that isn’t the case! Once they are in motion, they want to stay in motion according to Newton’s first law of motion.
You’ll also notice that the beads create an arc shape and raise themselves up over the rim of the glass! It’s pretty neat to watch. Basically, the beads coming out of the glass can’t make an immediate turn to follow the beads falling down, so they create the arc shape. You can read much more about this, including some interesting information about standing waves here on Scientific American. There’s a video to watch too.
Need more cool science experiments?
Here are 25 Simple Science Experiments that kids will love. Simple supplies, and lots of wow factor!