Can Tableware Float in the Air?
In the photograph, the spoon and forks seem to be floating. But this trick really has to do with balance, not magic.
Try it yourself. Use one hand to hold a teaspoon in position over the rim of a glass. Stick one fork onto the spoon handle, fitting the handle in between the middle tines of the fork. Then use the other hand to hold the spoon while you add an identical fork to the other side.
To make the whole thing balance, slide the forks backward or forward along the spoon handle, and angle the forks toward or away from the glass. When every-thing is balanced, the spoon may be parallel to the tabletop, but the fork handles will point downward.
Be patient and keep trying. If you are not able to make it balance, ask an adult for help.
How It Works
Every object has a point called its center of gravity. Each object behaves as if all of its weight were at this one point. For most things, the center of gravity is a point inside the object.
The spoon and forks act as a single object. When you adjust the forks, you move the object’s center of gravity to a point that lets the whole thing balance. But that point is not inside the object. It is “in the air,” below the forks and directly under the balancing point. That’s why the spoon and forks seem to defy gravity, balancing on the rim of a glass.
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