Thursday 28 January 2016

Doctor doctor, is negative spring like a flux capacitor?

Many thanks to the reader who asked me the following question about the post on negative spring:

' I am a bit puzzled as to how two springs in series can exert a force at right angles to their longitudinal axis. Didn't the pair of springs (providing the negative spring) in the CorPower device sit at an angle in a Back to the Future "flux capacitor" type arrangement?'

While I can't say I'm entirely sure how the flux capacitor works, I can confirm that a negative spring in action might look a little like a flux capacitor for part of its cycle. In the diagram below, we see that the negative spring force only kicks in when there is displacement at right angles to the line of the spring. The springs could bend round slinky spring style, or as shown below, they could remain co-linear, and be connected to the mechanism that is moving at right angles via hinges. 

Image credit:

Replica DeLorean DMC-12 Time Machine's Flux Capacitor:

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