TOPIC: Action-Reaction Principle
DESCRIPTION: Construct a balloon- powered pinwheel.
CONTRIBUTED BY: John Hartsfield, NASA Lewis Research Center
EDITED BY: Roger Storm, NASA Lewis Research Center
DISCUSSION: The balloon-powered pinwheel spins because of the
action-reaction principle described in Newton's Third Law of Motion. Stated
simply, the law says every action is, accompanied by an opposite and equal
reaction. In this case, the balloon produces an action by squeezing on
the air inside causing it to rush out the straw. The air, traveling around
the bend in the straw, imparts a reaction force at a right angle to the
straw. The result is that the balloon and straw spins around the pin.
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Aerospace Education Services Project Oklahoma State University