Weird Science - Standing on Cups - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Weird Science - Standing on Cups

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - How many cups can Taizo and Dr. V stand on without crushing them?  Check this weeks experiment on Weird Science.

 

Dr. V Show:  Standing on cups

 Things you will need:

  • Small paper cups (like Dixie cups)
  • 2 cardboard squares

 The Experiment:

Place a 4x4 square of cups, open side down, on the ground and try standing on them. What happens? Are they strong enough to hold you up? Next, place one of the cardboard squares on the floor and fill it up with cups, open side down, all close to each other. Start with 40 cups. Then place the other cardboard square on top of these cups. Now, carefully step onto your cup platform. Does this hold you up? Can you figure out what the minimum number of cups is that you need to support your weight?

 

How does it work?

When you try standing on the individual cups, they all get crushed. That's because all of your weight is pressing down on the cup. When you place many cups under the cardboard, the cardboard distributes, or spreads out, your weight over all the cups. So each cup has to support only a portion of your weight.

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