1F20.30 Tablecloth Pull


Force required to overcome friction.


A tablecloth is laid on a table and a place setting is arranged on top. When the tablecloth is pulled quickly, it slides out from beneath the place setting without disturbing it.



  • [1] Tablecloth
  • [1] Place setting

Classroom Assembly

  1. Place the tablecloth on a table.
  2. Arrange a place setting on the tablecloth.

Important Notes

  • Practice this demo in advance. Confidence and a smooth, quick motion are required.


  1. Pull the tablecloth slowly. The place setting will move with the tablecloth.
  2. Recentre the tablecloth and place setting on the table.
  3. Pull the tablecloth out from beneath the place setting in one smooth, quick motion.


Additional Resources


  • PIRA 1F20.30


  • Don't attempt this at home!

Last revised

  • 2018


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If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.