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Pendulum structure of newtons cradle balance balls
Newtons cradle balance balls have been refurbished many times over the years. However, the basic silhouette remains the same and is very simple. An odd number of balls (usually five or seven) that barely touch each other are suspended from a wooden or metal frame. The ball is usually made of stainless steel and, in rare cases, titanium. Due to its good elasticity and low price, stainless steel is ideal for constructing balls.
Each ball has the same properties (size, weight, mass and density) and is suspended using two wires of equal length. The wires are angled from either side of the frame to form an inverted bottomless triangle with the balls. They also help confine the movement of the pendulum to a single plane parallel to the frame crossbars.
The operation of newtons cradle balance balls is as simple as its construction. When the ball at one end is lifted and released, it hits the following stationary ball and transfers all the energy to it. Through a series of incredibly quick passes, energy is transferred to the ball at the other end, forcing the ball to swing upwards. The terminal ball rises to a height equal to that of the first ball and then falls to hit the ball at rest. Now both energy and motion are going in the opposite direction, eventually pushing the first ball out again.