Supported Through Tension

This image illustrates a piece of string threaded through multiple thin flexible plastic brackets. The brackets, which were deformed when I built the structure, gained elastic potential energy. As soon as I let go of the brackets this energy is released; as the brackets return back to their original flat shape they exert forces on the string threaded through them, pulling it taut. The brackets are placed such that no part of the string is not under tension. The lowest bracket is glued to a paper base and the string stays upright, held upwards only by the tension created by the brackets.

The image was taken with a two second exposure digital camera, during which a laser beam was shot at various angles at the structure. The light is reflected by the string, and also reflected and slightly refracted by the transparent brackets, causing some of it to reach and reflect off the base. As the laser is moved, the camera records the reflected laser light (which is moving), illuminating the entire structure and creating light streaks.

Oswald Pan
Victoria Park Collegiate Institute, Toronto, ON
First Prize ( 2017 High School Individual Category )
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