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Published on Jan 18, 2010
Gravitational collapse with crushable supports between 2 in. diameter washers weighing approx. 1.7 oz. each. The thickness of the washers does vary, they are sorted so the thinnest at the top and thickest at the bottom. 3 of the thinnest are about equal 2 of the thickest. So the weights range from 1.4 to 2.1 ounces. The intermediate supports are loops of paper 9/16 inches tall. The top 11 supports are single loops. The next 17 are double loops and the bottom 5 are triple loops. The falling mass consists of 4 washers out of a total of 33 or 12%. So the falling mass can sustain damage just like the stationary stack.
I have tested the single loops for what was necessary to crush a loop. Dropping 4 washers from 4 inches will crush a single loop. It takes 0.1182 joules to crush single loop
The dowel is 4 feet tall and less than 3/4 in thick and there is nearly a 1/16th gap around the dowel to a washer. Some rubbing is inevitable.
Notice that loop 11 which is a single loop remains intact. So the collapse was not stopped because of double loops.