Chaotic Pendulum

This is a picture of my chaotic pendulum. The base(the part touching the table) and support arm(the big "L" that holds the pendulum arm) are made of stained wood. I used four magnets to construct the pendulum: three small speaker magnets~1.5 inches in diameter for the bottom and one small~3/8 of an inch magnet for the pendulum arm.

My design does not have the base magnets fixed in place, they are free to move on the wood base. This lets me play around with different configurations of magnets.

The pendulum arm is made from a thin strip of balsa wood. On the top I made a hole and fished some fishing wire through tieing it to the top support. I left about an inch of wire between the top support and the actual pendulum arm.

I am not going to put detailed instructions on line to make this guy, it is pretty simple, just make the base first, then the top support arm, then attach the two. Then you can place your magnets on the base and measure how long you need to cut you piece of balsa pendulum arm. After this just attach the fishing wire and you are set. I used normal supper glue to attach the magnet to the pendulum arm. One thing that is really important is the distance from the magnet on the arm to the base magnets, too far and the pendulum will not "feel" the base magnets, too close and the pendulum arm will keep getting "stuck" on one of the base magnets. So this is the part of the construction you have to play with. You will notice in the video that my pendulum seems to have a little bias towards one of the magnets, but still is pretty lively in its swings and does not just get sucked into one base magnet.

Here is a video of it in action.