Particle-Surface Interactions Pendulum

My new boss, Hugh Smyth, has given me the green light to do open notebook science on some of the projects I’m working on in the lab. The project I’ll discuss below is especially cool since it is simple and relatively straight forward to accomplish. Plus, the fact that Hugh is excited about open notebook science makes it all the more fun.

What I designed is a very simple pendulum that has the capability to whack the heck out of something. Figure 1 is a SketchUp image of the pendulum showing the basic design.

SketchUp image of a pendulum design using parts from Thorlabs, McMaster-Carr, and Precision Balls.
Figure 1: Particle-Surface Pendulum. Thorlabs parts were used as the structure. There is a double sealed ball bearing that allows the stainless steel ball to swing freely. The item to be whacked is placed in the optics holder. The SS ball came from Precision Balls and all other items came from McMaster-Carr.

It works surprisingly well and I’m happy about its design. There are a few issues with it that I will discuss when I post real images of the build. Till then, here is a parts list for, what I’m calling the “Pendulum 5000”.

Parts List

Thorlabs
McMaster-Carr
  • 92311A535 – 1/4″-20 Set Screws.
  • 7804K143 – Flanged Double Shielded Ball Bearing.
  • 92185A535 – SS 1/4″-20 Socket head cap screw 3/8″.
  • 8517A58 – Stainless Steel Protractor.
Precision Balls

As a final note, getting Figure 1 to display properly was a heck of a feat due to my lack of HTML skills. So, I’m going to post the code for it below. The reason why I didn’t use the built-in WordPress figure + caption gui is that it wouldn’t allow me to bold or italicize words in the caption. So, I had to build a table to stick the figure in. Even posting the below code was a pain since the symbols < and > are rendered as HTML tags and need to be escaped with their ASCII equivalents.

<div id="image" style="width: 330; margin:0 auto; background: lightgray;">
 <table class="image">
  <tbody>
   <tr>
    <td align="center"><a href="http://image"><img class="size-medium wp-image-20" title="" src="http://image" alt="" width="300" height="200" /></a></td>
   </tr>
   <tr>
    <td class="caption" align="left"><strong>Figure 1:</strong> <em>Title</em>. Caption</td>
   </tr>
  </tbody>
 </table>
</div>

open notebook science logo

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