Resonance Experiment - Method 1


  • A block of polystyrene or florists' dry oasis (about 20x10x10 cm)
  • Plasticine
  • Bags of florists' wire (The same lengths but different thicknesses)


  1. Roll two pieces of plasticine into balls of different sizes, e.g. about 1 cm and 2 cm in diameter.

  2. Choose 2 wires of the same thickness. Stick the end of each wire into the middle of a plasticine ball.

Hint !  Make sure the wire is in the middle of the ball, otherwise the experiment will not work well.

  1. Stick the 2 wires with the balls into the polystyrene block, so that they stand upright. Push them in so that they are the same height, about 20 cm.
  1. Pull the bigger ball back about 3cm and let go. Make a mental note of the frequency of its backwards and forwards motion. You can do this by tapping your hand on the table with a beat in time with the motion. Keep this in your mind.
  1. Now start pushing the polystyrene block backwards and forwards gently at the same frequency, i.e. in time with the beat you noted. What happens? (Answer)
  1. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the small ball. What happens? (Answer)
To print any of the Experiment pages click on the file option from the menu at the top of the window. Then click on the print option in the drop down menu.

   page 1 of 2