Smithsonian Science Activities: Newton’s Cradle

Smithsonian Science Activities: Newton’s Cradle

Smithsonian Science Activities: Newton’s Cradle

Experience the wonders of physics with the Smithsonian Science Activities Newton’s Cradle. This 3-piece gray set, measuring 7″X 5″, is a must-have for both kids and adults.


Have you ever wondered how objects interact with each other? How forces can cause motion or remain at rest? The Newton’s Cradle is a perfect tool to explore these concepts and more. Let’s dive into the world of physics and discover the magic behind this mesmerizing device.

What is Newton’s Cradle?

Newton’s Cradle is a classic physics toy that demonstrates the principles of conservation of momentum and energy. It consists of a series of metal balls suspended from a frame. When one ball is lifted and released, it collides with the adjacent balls, transferring its energy and momentum. The last ball in the row then swings out and back, mimicking the motion of a pendulum.

How does it work?

When the first ball is lifted and released, it gains potential energy. As it falls, this potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. When it collides with the adjacent balls, it transfers some of its kinetic energy and momentum to them. The last ball, having received this energy, swings out and back, while the other balls remain relatively still due to the conservation of momentum.

What can you learn from Newton’s Cradle?

Newton’s Cradle allows you to explore various concepts in physics:

  1. Conservation of momentum: The total momentum of the system remains constant before and after the collision.
  2. Conservation of energy: The total energy of the system remains constant, with energy being transferred between the balls.
  3. Transfer of momentum: The collision between the balls demonstrates the transfer of momentum from one object to another.
  4. Pendulum motion: The swinging motion of the last ball resembles that of a pendulum, showcasing the principles of oscillation.
  1. Is Newton’s Cradle suitable for all ages?
  2. Yes, Newton’s Cradle is suitable for both kids and adults. It provides a hands-on experience to understand fundamental physics concepts.

  3. Can Newton’s Cradle be used as a decorative item?
  4. Absolutely! Newton’s Cradle is not only educational but also visually appealing. It can be a great addition to your desk or living room.

  5. Are there different variations of Newton’s Cradle available?
  6. Yes, Newton’s Cradle comes in various sizes, colors, and materials. You can choose the one that suits your preferences.


The Smithsonian Science Activities Newton’s Cradle is a captivating tool that brings the principles of physics to life. With its elegant design and educational value, it is a must-have for anyone interested in exploring the wonders of science. Get your own Newton’s Cradle today and embark on a journey of discovery!

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