An object at rest tends to remain at rest, and an object in motion tends to continue moving in a straight line at constant speed unless an outside force acts upon it. So says Newton’s First Law of Motion. The question is…can you see this in action? You bet your sweet bippy you can. You only need a few simple materials for this crazy experiment.
A pie plate
An empty cardboard toilet paper tube
A raw egg (yes, raw)
A large drinking glass or flower vase
Set your materials up like this.
Now comes the scary part. Get ready to smack the pie plate. Yup. With that delicate, gonna break and spread orange goo all over your kitchen egg on top of it. You are going to hit the pie plate. Hard. No sissy chickening out at the last second.
Hey. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go on. For science!
WHACK! Aaaaahhhh! Bye-bye pie plate!
But what’s this? The egg didn’t fly off into oblivion with the pie tin and the toilet paper roll? Huh? It’s gently cushioned in the vase of water? How on earth did that happen?
The egg is not moving when it sits on top of the cardboard tube – it is at rest. When you hit the pie plate with force it causes the pie plate to fly out from under the egg. The toilet paper tube gets caught on the edge of the pie plate making it fly away too. But the egg is not caught on anything, so for a fraction of a second, the egg stays at rest in the air, even after losing its support. Crazy! Until the force of gravity pulls the egg towards the ground – or in this case, the vase of water. It works even if you close your eyes!
We did this repeatedly and had tremendous success! Never had the egg go anywhere but straight down. That Newton sure knew what he was talking about. In more ways than one.
Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done. – Isaac Newton
2 thoughts on “Science Experiment: Newton’s First Law of Motion”
Hey! We just did the laws of physics! Gonna try this 🙂
Your kids will love it.