Content - Mechanicum






Gedämpfte Pendelschwingung


Harmonograph-Bild, Detail


Kreisel in der Schüssel

Schallwellen werden sichtbar

The magical world of mechanics.

If we are on the same wavelength then all is harmonious.", "That idea strikes a chord"...

Even if you are not up to speed with physics these metaphors are probably familiar to you. More concrete examples are found in sports where a corner-ball in a game of pool or a tennis backhand with top spin can affect the game.

From concepts to comprehension

There are over forty exhibits to help you get in the swing of mechanics. Immerse yourself for a few hours to understand individual phenomena better while gaining a better view of the big picture of the science of mechanics.

How does it work…

 … the relationship of the length of a pendulum to its period? At "Pendulum Table" we have a full assortment of pendulums to experiment with.

The exhibit "Pendulum Waves" is particularly fascinating. It is a device that is completely out of synchronicity until suddenly and strangely, it becomes orderly.

They may not send your pulse racing but we can promise you will find something that gives you the Technorama Aha! experience. Be sure to play with "Lissajous Patterns", or the "Coriolis Effect".

Does a pendulum swing faster or slower on Jupiter?

Just try it out, to see how it would behave on Jupiter, the biggest planet in the solar system. Gravity there is 2.67 times greater than that on earth.

Standing waves

Standing waves, whether simple, double or triple are child's play once you are reminded of the relationship between frequency and amplitude.

A metal "slinky" toy is often used in classrooms when teaching wave mechanics, and the "Waves in springs (Big Slinky)" is an enormous version of this demonstration.

"Precession" and "nutation" - What are these?

By exploring just a few of the many gyroscope exhibits, concepts like these will become clear. Whoever rides the "Rodeo Gyroscope" will feel the effects of precession and angular momentum directly on their body.

In "Spindrift", rings and discs spin and swirl around in a convex dish, - creating patterns of movement and light.

In the exhibit "Ball in a bowl”, you need a real feeling for resonance to "pump up” the speed of the ball-bearing circling inside the bowl. With practice you can achieve a high speed in a few seconds. (Swiss yodellers use the same idea with coins circling in earthenware bowls - it makes an interesting sound to accompany them!)