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Marvin and Milo

Explore physics the exciting way, by trying out a simple and fun experiment. This month, Electric Slime Don't forget to check back next month for the next edition...

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What you need

  1. a paperclip
  2. water
  3. two identical glasses

Marvin bets Milo that he can make the paperclip move without touching it.


  1. Put equal amounts of water in both glasses and stand them next to each other but not touching.
  2. Straighten out the paperpclip into a straight wire, then bend it slightly (it should be shaped more-or-less like a boomerang), Balance it on the rim of one of the glasses.
  3. With a wet finger, rub around the rim of the other glass until it "sings"
  4. The paperclip moves!

Results & explanation

Rubbing the glass makes it vibrate at its natural frequency. Because the other glass is identical it has the same natural frequency and the sound waves from the other glass make it vibrate as well - so the paperclip moves.

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