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Local And Global Minimum


Consists of a bent piece of aluminum extrusion. A pair of lab stands is used to hold it so it may be shown.


Demonstrates the concept of local and global minima, and allows the kinematics surrounding local and global minima to be easily explored. Can also be used to explain the difference between minima and maxima in regards to the stability of a system.


  • Curved track
  • Steel ball bearing
  • Pair of lab stands and appropriate clamps


  1. Using two stands, set up the apparatus as shown in the picture.
  2. The metal ball can oscillate in the local minimum or global minimum with ease.
  3. If the ball is given enough momentum, it will climb out of the local minimum and find the global minimum.


Demo room information

Location M2
Maker Unknown
Current State Working
demonstrations/4_thermodynamics/4d_kinetic_theory/local_and_global_minimum/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/28 19:01 by demoroom