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Are you looking for information about Can A
Coin Placed On The Tracks Derail A Train? right, fortunately for
you today I share about the topic that interests you, Can A Coin
Placed On The Tracks Derail A Train?, hope to make you
Table of Contents (click to expand)
- What Is Derailment?
- The Facts
- Can A Penny Derail A Train?
- What Actually Happens?
I’ve heard the old tale that if you drop a penny
on the railroad tracks, it’ll cause a train to derail. That’s not
really true. A penny’s too light to alter the tracks and cause a
train to go off course.
Growing up, I heard tales of a mysterious power
that trains had. People would say that a train could transform a
coin into a magnet! While this was not true, it was a harmless and
innocent idea. I was captivated by this myth, and even today, I
can’t help but wonder if it held any truth. Despite my doubts, I
still find myself believing that trains possess some sort of
I always heard the saying growing up that a
penny on a train track could derail a train. I wanted to find out
if this really was true, so I looked into it. It seemed like such a
small object, and yet it had the power to cause such destruction.
After doing some research, I found out that the penny likely
couldn’t derail the train, but it could cause the train to become
derailed if it got stuck in the tracks. So while the adage might
not be true, it’s still a good reminder to be careful around train
What Is Derailment?
I experienced a derailment firsthand when the
train I was riding on suddenly left the tracks. It wasn’t a
complete derailment, but it was enough to jolt us passengers and
cause some alarm. It could have been the result of a collision, a
mechanical issue with the track or the wheels, or even an
intentional derailment to prevent a more serious incident. All in
all, it was a jolting experience that I won’t soon forget.
Also Read: Can A Bullet
Dropped From The Top Of A Building Hurt Anyone?
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The issue is very straightforward. Essentially,
there is a belief that an average penny, with a weight of no more
than a few grams, can derail an entire train, which is more or less
in the range of 200 tons (now, count the number of zeroes
after converting 200 tons to grams). By the sheer numbers, it
seems utterly childish to even consider that such a small piece of
metalI’m a science buff so of course I’m curious to know what could
happen if a high-speed train collided with a barrier. I mean, what
kind of force would it take to stop a locomotive going full speed?
It’s an interesting thought, but it’s one that we can explore to
better understand the physics behind it. Let’s look at the facts
and figures to see what the chances of this happening are.
I have experienced a train coming off its tracks
before. It was the scariest thing ever! It was caused by a number
of issues, such as mechanical faults, bad track conditions or even
human error. The train veered off the tracks and the consequences
were disastrous. It is an all-too-familiar scenario that can cause
immense destruction and trauma. Luckily, in my case, the derailment
was not as serious as it could have been, but it certainly shook me
I’m well aware that objects on the train tracks
can cause a derailment. Typically, this would include something
like snow, a tree or tree branches, or a vehicle. All of these can
cause a train to go off the rails if they interfere with its
Also Read: Can A Penny
Dropped From The Top Of A Building Actually Kill
Can A Penny Derail A
I’m no physicist, but I understand that a penny
doesn’t have enough mass to make a train derail. The law of
conservation of momentum explains why. Basically, when two objects
with mass interact, their momentum stays the same. So, a tiny penny
just isn’t gonna move a big train.
I’m standing on the tracks and I see a speeding
train coming towards me. At the same time, a penny is also on the
tracks. The train is a lot heavier than the penny, weighing
thousands of kilograms. In contrast, the penny is only a few grams.
I can also tell that the train is moving at a high speed, while the
penny is stationary. With the train having way more momentum than
the penny, it’s clear that the penny doesn’t have enough power to
make the train change its course.
In short, the penny
will have no effect at all.
What Actually Happens?
I expected that the penny would be pretty much
ruined after a locomotive drove over it. To be honest, if someone
was able to detach the penny from the tracks, then they were really
lucky. Most of the time, the penny gets completely flattened and
sticks to the track. Other times, the penny just gets stuck to the
wheels and gets taken away.
I strongly recommend you don’t try this
experiment. Too many people have been hurt or even killed by
placing a penny on train tracks. It’s not worth the risk. Instead,
stay a safe distance away from the tracks and enjoy the show from
afar. Trust me, the outcome is always the same, but your life is
valuable and irreplaceable. Don’t risk it!
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References (click to expand)
- Derailment – Wikipedia. Wikipedia
- Liu, X., Saat, M. R., & Barkan, C. P. L. (2012, January).
Analysis of Causes of Major Train Derailment and Their Effect on
Accident Rates. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the
Transportation Research Board. SAGE Publications.
Check on Amazon
The Character of Physical Law, with new foreword
(The MIT Press)Check on Amazon
Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained
by Its Most Brilliant TeacherCheck on Amazon
|Scientific discovery can be unexpected and full of
chance surprises. Take your own here and learn something new and
Frequently asked questions
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