School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

Mb-4 Dining Table

Published: Thursday 09 March 2006 - Updated: Thursday 24 March 2011


To demonstrate inertia of objects.



Various dining table objects (eg. plates, bottles, cups, a bottle of wine etc.) are positioned on a silky smooth cloth. The objects can be left standing on the trolley if the cloth is pulled out sharply from beneath, thus demonstrating the inertia of the objects involved. Ensure you place the smooth silky surface down facing the table when attempting this demonstration. Malicious lecturers sometimes invite the students to have a go after they have successfully done the demonstration, however a small ball of bluetack placed by sleight of hand between the table and tablecloth produces a different result to the demonstration. It is suggested the lecturer remove the half full bottle of wine before letting students attempt this demonstration.

Safety notes


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