Tombe, Frederick David
Mechanics / Electrodynamics
October 31, 2014
The counter intuitive behaviour of the Newton’s Cradle is not, as is generally believed, adequately explained in the literature. In particular, two important issues are overlooked. One of these is that the elasticity of the balls arises due to the fact that the balls are made of hard material that doesn’t easily deform during the collisions, when in fact we might have expected the hard material to have actually reduced the elasticity. This therefore rules out linear elasticity and Hooke’s law as being the principle action, and so it is proposed that the energy waves that transfer the kinetic energy through the row of balls are based on fine-grained rotational elasticity, similar in nature to that which arises in electromagnetic radiation.
The other overlooked issue is that the kinetic energy waves that move through the metal balls immediately after a collision, move either to the right or to the left of the point of impact, or in both directions, but since energy transfer inside the balls has an absolute motion relative to the balls themselves, then whether the energy within the balls moves to the right, or to the left, or in both directions, must depend on the absolute motion of the balls. The direction of the energy transfer within the balls cannot depend on an arbitrary choice of rest frame. It therefore remains to determine the physical basis for absolute motion and kinetic energy...