07/02/2013 08:21 am ET

Bead-Chain VIDEO Uses Slo-Mo To Show How Falling Beads Seem To Float

Watching a strand of beads fall from a jar in slow-motion is not only pretty mesmerizing, but is also phenomenal physics.

Just check out this amazing bead-chain experiment in the Earth Unplugged Youtube video above.

The video shows that when one end of a strand of beads is tossed into the air, the beads form a strange arc that seems to levitate. But why?

"That's quite easy really, if you look at it as a sort of tug-of-war," BBC's science correspondent Steve Mould explains in the video. Since the falling end of the strand is heavier than the stationary end, it tugs, causing the chain to travel quickly downward.

"If you've got something traveling really quickly, it's got momentum, right? So you've got this traveling up and it wants to change so that it's traveling down, but it can't do that in an instant, because that would require infinite force," Mould says.

Instead, the chain gives in to gravity after being tossed upward by changing direction slowly over the course of a loop, creating that awesome arc seen in the video. These self-siphoning beads are appropriately also called "Newton's Beads," as they demonstrate this physics phenomenon.



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