Weird Science: Coin Trick

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- That time of the week when Dr.V from Oceanit does a cool experiment with our resident weatherman Dan Cooke! Dan Cooke is a man of many skills.

Here's the write-up for the catching coins piece for tomorrow.

Dr. V Show:  Coin Catching

Things you will need:

  • Several quarters

The Experiment:

Stand in an open area where you have some space to move and won't break anything, in case your quarters go flying. Open your right hand(or left if you are left handed) and bring it up so that it is above your right shoulder, with your palm facing upwards. Your right elbow should be parallel with the ground. Now balance a stack of three quarter on your elbow. Quickly swing your hand downwards as fast as you can and be ready to catch the quarters when they end up in your hand. Were you able to do it? It may take a few tries, but you might be surprised how easy it is.

How does it work?

As you swing your hand downward, since it is connected to your elbow, your elbow moves downward too. As soon as your elbow moves, your quarters start to fall. At first, the quarters are moving relatively slowly. If you didn't catch them, gravity would pull them down, causing them to fall faster and faster towards the ground. But as soon as you move your hand downwards, your arm is moving much faster than the quarters are falling, so your hand is easily able to catch up to the quarters. The way that your arm is built, the coins resting on your elbow are at just in the path that your hand takes when you swing it downwards.

Try stacking more quarters on your elbow. How many can you catch?

Are you able to catch a row of quarters lined up on your elbow all the way to your hand?

What about other coins? Do they work as well?

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