Stretch Your Mind: Experiment with Rubber Bands

Rubber bands are unusual and fascinating objects. They can serve many purposes because they behave in an odd manner that is counterintuitive.

Such behavior prompted physicist Paul Gluck to conduct a series of experiments and write about his findings.

One such experiment is the effect of heat on a rubber band. While most objects expand when heated, a rubber band contracts.

To see this in action, begin by suspending a rubber band vertically, then attach a weight to it. Measure carefully its stretched length with a ruler.

Rubber bands

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Next grab a hair dryer to blow hot air on the rubber band. Now measure the new length to determine whether or not the band contracted.

Visit OPUBlog to read Gluck’s full series and learn about additional experiments you can perform at home to learn about the unique properties of the rubber band.