Updated on 15 October, 2021
Newton's Cradle is just one of many inventions that Isaac Newton inspired. His revolutionary theory on gravity made it possible to calculate how much force is required to move an object from a fixed point to one that moves. In addition, his law of universal gravity made it possible to determine an object's weight without the assistance of experts. These two ideas and many others made Newton a great scientist, whose name we owe. Many of his ideas are still well-known today. You will get an idea of some of his ideas in this article.
Newton's Cradle shows how simple swinging spheres can conserve energy and momentum. One sphere is lifted and moved to create a constant force on the other stationary spheres. This pushes the middle globe up while the one in the middle stays put. The pressure exerted alters the positions of the swinging objects, sending them spiraling around the Cradle. The innermost sphere, which is still trapped in the Cradle, is pulled by gravity.
This apparatus was designed to demonstrate the principle of perfect elasticity. Every action must produce an equal and opposite reaction according to mechanics. For example, assuming that the motion of falling balls causes a similar but different response, the constant motion of the inner sphere must be transmitted to the outer. This is called an inverse motion in the internal device. It can be compared with a spring. The second law of mechanics states that the equilibrium of an apparatus is precisely equal to the energy required to make it elastic.
This example shows that Newton's Cradle is based on the principle known as the principle conservation of energy. This law states that every motion in a system can be characterized by a corresponding force equal to its magnitude.
This is only one example of how the phenomena described above can be displayed in real life. An online simulation of the same device can be found. This simulation shows how it can accurately replicate the torque effects on large numbers of balls. You don't need a computer to use the simulator. The results are presented in an animation-like format so that you can see them in action. Why not give it a try?