Arena Table Exhibits KL29 Racetrack


Which billiard ball reaches the bottom first? 

Place the balls at the top of the tracks.
Release the balls down the tracks at the same time.

The steeper the track, the faster the ball will accelerate. A curved track is much steeper at the top than a straight track. The fast acceleration of the curved track ensures the ball’s victory, even though the distance to be travelled is longer.

At the starting point, each ball holds the same potential energy. When the balls are released, the potential energy converts into kinetic energy, but the total energy remains the same. This principle is the same for both tracks. The fastest track is cycloid in shape. A cycloid is a curve along which an object rolls fastest from top to bottom as a result of the gravitational pull.

A cycloid curve is created when a circular wheel with radius a rolls without sliding along the horizontal axis x. The first to study cycloids were Nicolaus Cusanus (1401–1464) and Marin Mersenne (1588–1648). Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) put a name to this type of curve in 1599.

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