Gravity Powered Calculator

This exhibit demonstrates principles of kinetic energy, potential energy, and gravity. An inclined ramp is marked linearly for starting positions for a steel ball to begin to roll. When the ball clears the ramp, its arc fall lands in a box that is also linearly marked. The machine is constructed so that the starting number is always the square of the landing number. For example, if the ball lands on the number 4, the starting is 16. The design follows the laws of energy and motion. Simply stated, when the ball leaves the ramp, its speed, and thus the distance it will travel, depends on the square root of the height from which it starts.