Aluminum can experiment

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Aluminum can experiment

Postby metsnation » Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:32 pm

I am trying to complete an experiment to make an aluminum can move when placed on the floor. I cannot use anything on the outside of the can. Any suggestions?
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Postby shijun » Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:28 pm

Sounds like a question your teacher has asked you! Is this for homework or a science fair project?

Do you have any ideas so far? What are the other constraints? Judging by what you've told me here, you must try to work some magic with the inside of the can? Or is the can full and sealed?

If this is simply a brainteaser, why don't you do some thinking first (and maybe some web research).

Shijun
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Postby metsnation » Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:54 pm

It is for extra credit. The constraints are, the top is cut off the can and you cannot have anything touching the outside. I have tried attaching clay to the inside center. (It rolled, but did not continue to roll.) I tried to use taut rubber bands and a battery. (No luck.) I've also researched on the web and found nothing. (Well, I actually found this web site.) I'm drawing blanks.
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Postby shijun » Thu Oct 28, 2004 4:42 pm

Have you looked into magnets by any chance? The idea is to have something that moves on its own, and then in turn have this little "machine" move the can while on the inside. Also, look into gyroscopes.

Shijun
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Postby metsnation » Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:40 pm

I was thinking of using a cam. Would that be the same concept as a gyroscope?
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Postby shijun » Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:45 pm

A cam is a rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion, while a gyroscope is something different. Look at: http://science.howstuffworks.com/gyroscope.htm

Also, is there a limit on NOT using battery powered devices? Or does the can need to move for at least a certain period of time?

Shijun
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Postby metsnation » Fri Oct 29, 2004 7:34 pm

There cannot be any motors or battery operated devices used. It needs to move at least 6 feet.
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Postby shijun » Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:59 pm

Well, those are pretty big constraints that you forgot to mention!

Let me know how your cam idea turns out.

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