In addition to being a terrific toy, the Slinky is an excellent
device for demonstrating various properties of physics. Understanding how such
properties work is essential to engineers who must apply the theories and
principles of science and mathematics every day in solving practical technical
problems such as harnessing the power of fuels that drive our cars, airplanes,
trains, and ships; transforming water power into electricity; using steel and
concrete to build dams, roads and bridges; etc.
The Slinky, like all objects, tends to resist change in its
motion. Because of this inertia, if placed at the top of stairs it stays at rest
without moving at all. At this point it has potential or stored energy. But once
it starts down the stairs and gravity affects it, the potential energy is
converted to the energy of motion, or kinetic energy, and the Slinky gracefully
tumbles coil by coil down the stairs.
For simple slinky activities and the source visit