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Monkey and a Gun

A stuffed monkey is suspended from a rod at one end of a lecture hall by an electromagnet. A golf ball gun aimed directly at the monkey cuts power to the electromagnet when fired. Thus, the monkey begins falling at the same instant the gun fires the golf ball. The projectile and target meet in mid air.

Intuitively one might think that the ball will go over the monkey's head due to its fast speed. However, gravity accelerates all objects downward at the same rate, meaning the monkey and the ball will meet at exactly the same point. If the ball was shot even faster, it would still hit the monkey, but higher above the ground.

No animals were harmed in this demo.

Comments (5)

Great Demo!!! I used it in class when we covered projectile motion. thanks.

Posted 6 years by Anonymous User

monkeys and midgets

Posted 6 years by Anonymous User

It would be clearer if the monkey and ball were at the same level/elevation and it would be more dramatic if it were a pistol shot and dropped bullet at the same level, i.e., fired bullet and dropped bullet hit the level ground at the same time! Patrick

Posted 6 years by Anonymous User

Trial practice that you do seem quite good and could be one thing that can motivate students to learn better. Often students feel discouraged when they did the experiment fail. Home Decorating

Posted over 1 year by gorda.blore_1@touchstonenetwork.net

insert here

Posted 8 months by Anonymous 00:00:26

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MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

Category: Science | Updated over 1 year ago

Created
September 02, 2008 10:20
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