1M10.20 - Pile Driver

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Pile Driver
Work and Translation of Motion
Area of Study:
Pile driver apparatus with addable weights, 3 X 4 wood blocks, nails with centimeter markings, pop cans with holes in the bottom.

Raise the pile driver to the desired heights.  Heights of 25 cm increments are marked on the guide rods.  Place a pop can under the pile driver and release.  The pop can will be crushed to a size proportional to the height the pile driver was dropped from.  To eliminate the build up of pressure in the pop can several holes are punched in the bottom of the can, but not so many as to decrease the structural integrity.  Nails may be used in place of pop cans and are also driven in proportional to the height drop.

  • Shahrul Kadri Ayop, "Analyzing Impulse Using Iphone and Tracker", The Physics Teacher, Vol. 55, #8, Nov. 2017, p. 480.
  • Kyle Hathcox and David Ward, "The Hammer Falls: A Fresh Look at the Pile Driver", TPT, Vol. 43, #7, Oct. 2005, p. 428.
  • Francesc Castellvi, Joan I. Rosell, and Pedro J. Perez, "Using Plasticine™ To Measure The Rolling Friction Coefficient", TPT, Vol. 33, #5, May 1995, p. 276.
  • M. W. Meisel, "MV or MV2? That Was The Question!", TPT, Vol. 31, # 3, Mar. 1993, p. 170.
  • Henry Levinstein, "The Physics of Toys", TPT, Vol. 20, #6, Sept. 1982, p. 358, also a Potpourri of Physics Teaching Ideas - Toys, p. 269.
  • Thomas B. Greenslade, Jr., "Model Pile Driver (Photo)", AJP, Vol. 70, #6, June 2002, p. 657.
  • Borislaw Bilash II, David Maiullo, "Pile Driver", A Demo a Day: A Year of Physics Demonstrations, p. 83.

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