When You Drop a Slinky, It Floats in Midair Like Magic

By Sam Biddle on at

Slinky, one of the cosmos' perennial enigmas, has one amazing propert you've probably never noticed. But that's okay. Our mortal eyes aren't quick enough to notice—but this slow-mo camera is. It looks like magic! But it's awesome physics.

Physicist Rod Cross of the University of Sydney demonstrates this amazing effect in a charming, white-haired professorial way: the tension at the top of the suspended slinky and the gravity pulling at its bottom completely cancel one another out. When the toy's dropped, the bottom end floats, as if in zero gravity, while a wave of energy moves downwards through the collapsing spring. In the meantime, it looks amazing. Physics, you will always, always be cool. [Veritasium via BuzzFeed]