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Falling Rhythm

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    The Exploratorium

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Falling Rhythm

Listen to the beat of gravity. By taking two strings with weights tied to them at different, yet uniform intervals, you can hear the uniformity (and rhythm) of gravity's accelerating pull.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Two pieces of heavy string or cord, each about 9 feet (3 meters) long; we’ve found that parachute cord, 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3 to 6 millimeters) in diameter, works well
  • Ten weights to clip onto the strings—binder clips or 1/2-ounce (15-gram) fishing weights work well
  • Meter stick or measuring tape with metric units (to measure in centimeters)
  • Marker (any color) to mark the strings
  • Cookie sheet or other similar-sized piece of metal or wood
  • Optional: Step stool (if needed)


  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Sound
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation


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