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Connected Body Drops and a Levitating Slinky

by on February 28, 2013

One day while practicing with Chad I had a sudden flashback to an episode of the Radiolab podcast. We played around with some of the concepts and the techniques we show in this video were the result.

Here’s the video:

If you haven’t heard it yet, the podcast is well worth a listen. They also posted this awesome video of slinkys dropping in slow motion:

Edit: I just had a brief email exchange about this post, and thought I’d share at least my half of the conversation as other people might be interested or have input.

Begin my reply:

I was thinking about it slightly differently I think. (No idea if I’m right or not though!)

My thought was that, if you want to apply power through the channel of connection then the hand can’t “know” what to do until the signal reaches it. If you listened to the radiolab episode, they say how a slinky and a pen both fall in the same way, it’s just that the structure of a pen allows the information to flow so quickly that you can ignore it.

Likewise, I think you can speed up that slinky drop to the point where it appears that everything is dropping simultaneously, but in fact, if you do it correctly, the same whipping action will be occurring, just much more quickly and over a smaller distance.

If you crack the whip fast enough it will appear stiff, but to aim for stiffness is a mistake – you’ll start to cheat by making your hand something other than a conduit for connection.

My main point is that you have to get connected and then move as an unintelligent object would – the hand must not act until the line of connection tells it to act.

A slinky and a pen both drop in the same way, but because we are “intelligent” we managed to get all screwed up. Some thought may be necessary, but the less thinking we do the better in my opinion.

Again, no idea if I’m right or not, but those are my thoughts.

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