# Would a slinky on an escalator ever stop?

supposing the escalator itself didn't stop.

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• Anonymous

The escalator would have to be moving fast enough so that the slinky always "lands" at the same point vertically, relative to someone standing next to the escalator. Otherwise, the slinky would have a net motion, either up, or down the escalator (probably down, unless the escalator was moving damn fast).

Look at this little animation to see what I mean:

Also, the step width would have to be exactly equal to the horizontal distance the slinky covers in a single arc.

Under these conditions, though, I'm not entirely sure what should happen. All I know is that there is some exchange between the initial kinetic energy you gave it by tipping it, the gravitational potential energy, the energy stored in the spring, and waste energy (in the form of heat and sound).

If you've created a theoretical perpetual motion machine, something is wrong. It will stop eventually, no question, but when and why I am not so sure of.

• ?
Lv 4
4 years ago

• Anonymous
5 years ago

RE:

Would a slinky on an escalator ever stop?

supposing the escalator itself didn&#39;t stop.

Thats a very interesting question, I need more information though is the slinky moving faster than the escalator? but to wage a guess, I would say yes it would stop

• Anonymous

Nope. I assume the circumstances are that all the steps are the same, the slinky is going the same speed as the escalator and they are the perfect size to co-exist. That being said, the slinky wont stop as long as the escalator keeps going.

YES.

GIVEN THE AVERAGE SIZE IN SQUARE INCHES

OF THE ESCALATOR STAIR TREAD AND THE CROSS SECTIONAL AREA OF A SLINKY IN SQUARE INCHES,

THE PROBABILITY THAT THE SLINKY WILL DROP ON A FLAT AREA AND NOT REACH THE NEXT STEP DOWN IS ROUGHLY 13 TO 1.

Assuming an escalator with shorter steps than those in the mall and assuming that the steps are tall enough to compensate for the energy losses, yes.

• Anonymous
5 years ago

Yes, but I couldn't get it to work. It was an old escalator, and the speed was off.