Where do people get these ideas?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you placed a washing machine on a trampoline, put a brick into it, and turned it on? Me neither. But somebody thought it might be a good idea and the video below shows what happens. In general, my distaste of waste and wanton destruction of perfectly good appliances makes me reluctant to endorse this kind of thing. But I have to admit to being fascinated by the video because it made me think about the physics that was driving it.

It turns out that these people have carried out a whole series of experiments with bricks in washing machines.

Oddly enough, I felt a sense of sympathy for the washing machine. It seemed almost human in the way it struggled to eject objects that it clearly was not meant to have to deal with. What impressed me was the amount of beating it could take and still have the basic function keep going.


  1. drascus says

    Actually it makes a lot of sense to me. It would start with the observation of an unbalanced load, and what that does to the machine.

    Then you think, “What would happen if it was on a surface that allowed it to bounce?”

    And since creating an unbalanced load would be difficult, it’d be easy to just find an object that would always be unbalanced. Brick is a cheap and abundant one.

  2. says

    That reminds me when I plugged an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) into itself. It took a split second before turning on the battery, and then a couple of seconds before it disengaged. Repeat.

  3. Who Cares says

    Reminds me of a 3 phase powered generator from which 1 phase is faulty. Or deliberately sabotaged in the case of the demonstration, mildly impressive to see several hundred kilos of machine sheer off the bolts that anchored it to the floor and then trying to shake slowly into a direction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *