Energy is Energy is Energy!

Energy is Energy is Energy!

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Arbor Scientific Alternative Energy Conversion Kit
Arbor Scientific Reversible Thermoelectric Demonstrator
Arbor Scientific Converting Gravitational Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy Kit

Think back to when you were a little kid playing one of your most enjoyable family games on Saturday night. It involved rolling a die and moving around a game board, all while building a complex "mousetrap", hoping that you wouldn't get caught in its devious shenanigans or secretly wishing that its numerous "Energy Transfers" would fail to work!

Rube Goldberg was one of the pioneers of the energy conversion "machine", albeit his ideas were a bit eccentric and downright kooky. Yet the public was fascinated by the possibilities of creating a machine that would actually perform a useful function by flipping a lever or pulling a string, thereby triggering a string of mechanical energy transformations that were compelling to watch at the very least.

In fact, the Honda Corporation used the idea of Energy transfer and conversion to promote their product to a new level; the actual parts of a Honda vehicle set up in a series of Rube Goldberg-like energy processes that ultimately showcased their newest model car. The video is real. It took 606 takes for it to work perfectly. For the first 605 tries some little thing didn't work or move the way it was supposed to.

If you are wondering how the tires in the ad are rolling up the slope at 20 degrees, they're weighted, with the weight positioned in the tire to be balanced at rest but when knocked, the weights naturally "fall" downward, therefore forcing the wheel forward. As the law of Conservation of Energy states, energy is lost with each knock as you can see when the last tire just barely makes it to the next link in the chain.

February 22, 2012 Collin Wassilak

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