“Physics is Bananas ” [or Newton’s Banana]

newtons cradle

This is dedicated to those who feel that Physics is a Human endeavour and should be taught as such.

The first and most primeval method of opening bananas (close to the evolutionary level of blue green slime)  is the Grunt Method [Action, Hold the banana, wrapped  around the waste, Grasp it with both hands. Throw the elbows out away from your body. The banana breaks in half if done right with a not too ripe banana] This method is preferred by those who end up in administration or politics.

The second step up the evolutionary ladder is the method used by Homo Sapiens.  [Action, Grab the stem end, bend and twist and mash the banana. Look for a knife. Look totally frustrated] Human do need their tools.

The third step up the evolutionary ladder is the method (or so I’m told) used by the Great Apes [Action, Pinch the other end (opposite the stem end) and just peel the banana.] It works so easily, its weird.

The forth step up the evolutionary ladder is the method used by Technological Homo Sapiens. or The Zipper Method  [Action, take the banana and  insert finger nails into one of the ribs on the concave side of the banana. Then just pull apart and  zip open the banana.]This method was shown to me by a ten (if some what talented) year old.

Finally!  The Pinnacle of Evolution,  the Physicists Method  [Action, Grab the stem end, concave side, toward you, with a quick flip of the wrist, the stem breaks allowing you to easily peel the banana]  Don’t get too enthusiastic or the banana ends up on the floor.

The Moral of Our Story  – “A banana will continue in a state of uniform motion unless peeled by a net external force!”  Thank You! Mr. Newton

 One can go on to describe how Physics – the study of Matter and Energy – is responsible for us being richer than the Nobility of Europe a few hundred years ago. They may have eaten off golden plates, and had servants catering to their slightest needs, BUT THEY DID NOT EAT BANANAS because they did not understand the energy involved in the changes of state of matter. Nor were they able to efficiently harness the various forms of energy available to them. How many horses did they use to drag themselves around?; Two, four, maybe eight! What is the horsepower of our smallest cars? We are richer than 19th century European nobility, and Physics is responsible. [Action; Look Righteous, Superior, —> then Smile]

This material has been provided by :

Jim Smedley (and Julian Faust, age 10 at the time) described by  Dave Erb

Permission is hereby given to use this material for non profit, classroom use..


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