Tomorrow's World | How television tried to predict the future of science
CHANNEL | BBC 1
FIRST BROADCAST | 26 February 1971
DURATION | 4 minutes 26 seconds
Returning to the subject of futuristic offices, in this item James Burke (pictured above) investigates new toys to eradicate boredom from the lives of lonely executives. Despite the presence of motorised drinks holders, balls on springs and many toys that utilise magnets, the view seems to be that life as a high-flying executive won't be all that enjoyable in tomorrow's world.
One of the most enduring executive toys is the Newton's Cradle, a device that uses balls - usually made of steel - suspended in a row from a supporting cradle. When the outer-most ball at one end is pulled back and released, the ensuing shock-wave is carried through the other balls and out the other side, pushing the outer-most ball at the opposite end away from the frame. The device relies on the conservation of momentum and energy to keep the movement of the balls going continuously. Though similar devices had been available for some time, this toy was given the name Newton's Cradle by British manufacturer Simon Prebble in 1967.
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