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For the study of kinematics and the dynamic of transiation

! Virtually friction-free motion

! Compatible with electronic timers and photocell gates

! Allows for photography of phenomena

! Available with a wide range of accessories

This up-to- date system includes:

- a linear air track complete with accessiores ( see cat. 4132.00 etc).

- an electronic timer together with a pair of phototransistor optical gates ( see cat. 2232.30 or 2234.00).

The system permits measurements of extreme accuracy so that quantitative experiments acquire a considerable significance for students. The track is of triangular section extruded aluminum with a series of small diameter holes along its length , trough which flows air provided by an air blower. A light weight metal vehicle rides on the track supported by the air flow trough the holes, allowing virtually friction-free motion along the track. The system is complete with a wide range of accessories. The time measurement system is made up of an pair of phototransistor optical gates and electronic timer. Connections among the various elements of the system (track, gates, timer) are minimized, since Icaro DidatticaQA. timers are equipped with an incorporated amplifier for the optical gates and power supply for electromagnets. With the use of complementary accessories ( stroboscope, camera), the phenomena under study may be better observed and photographed. A wheel-mounted cabinet, specially designed to facilitate the use of the track , holds the accessories kit. 





Includes the following items:

a) Track ( 4132.02)

Triangular section extruded aluminum alloy, 220 cm length. Electromagnet may be fixed at one end. Mounted on rectangular section anodized  aluminum tube with adjstable supports. Scale with 2 mm divisions silk-screened along track.

b) accessories kit no. 1 (4132.03)

- no. 2 aluminum alloy vehicles weight 400 g and no. 1 aluminium alloy vehicle weight 200 g;

- no. 2 magnetic bumpers;

- no. 2 bumpers with 6 mm diameter holes;

- no . 2 bumpers for needies;

- no. 4 catacupults of 5 cm with rubber bands;

- no 2 metal screens  of 15 cm length;

- no . 1 spool of rubber cord , 5 m length ;

- package of plasticine;

- package of steel needies;

- package of spare rubbeer bands for catapults;

- no. 1 spool of nylon thread.

c) Accessiories kit no. 2 ( 4132.04)

- no. 1 metal rod;

- no. 4 cardboard screens of 5 cm;

- no. 2 cardboard screens of 10 cm;

- no. 5 weights for traction of vehicles;

- no. 1 weights holder;

- no 1 electromagnet with central hole,

- no 2 cylindrical magnets;

- no. 1 pulley , 40 mm diameter, with 6 mm shaft;

- no. 1 shaft with hook;

- no . 1 ring;

- no. 2 catapults of 10 cm with rubber band;

- no. 1 metal bob pendulum with stand;

- no. 1 pin with handle;

- no . 2 steel spheres of 12 mm diameter;

- no. 1 spool of cotton thread.

d) Control box for electromagnet release



Similar to 2236.22 but with pole reverser.

e) Pair of stands for photocell gates  to be

 mouneted on the track base (4132.06).

f) Air blower (see cat. 2108.60)




For time measuring:


2232.00 electronic timer 3 figure, or


2234.00 electroni timer 5 figure


Icaro Didattica electronic timers offer the following advantages:

- incorporeated amplifier optical gates;

- 12 V d.c. power supply for operation of electromagnet mounted on the track;

- complete with a pair of phototransistor photocell gates;

- minimum number of external connections.




2237.10 Electonic oscillation counter for the measurement of the period of a pendulum and mechanical oscillations.


4132.05 Set of 5 speings

For stroboscopic viewing:




2238.00 Electronic Xenon stroboscope frequency: from 1 to 250 flashes/second in 3 ranges.

4132.10 Black screen to be mounted on the track for photography. The stroboscope is used to photograph the vehicle in motion on the air track with a polaroid instant developing camera (not included). The photographs show the following: for uniform motion, a series of equally-spaced rods; for uniformly accelerated motion, a series of rods at exponentially increasing distnces.



Wheel-mounted cabinet/table




With sufficient space for the storage of accessories. Specially designed to allow for ready use of the air track. The noise of the air blower is reduced to a minimum so that experiments may be carried out in any classroom. This high-quality unit has dimensions 225x56x83 cm, and is of wood construction, faced with plastic laminate.

The storage spaces are in the lower part of the cabinet. One of the spaces holds the blower, while the other holds the accessories.

Furthermore, to reduce the external electrical connections to a minimum, the cabinet is equipped with electrical outlets and an ON/OFF switch.

Four rubber casters (two of which may be locked) make the cabinet easily manoeuvrable.








The system allows the performace of many experiments in kinematics, dynamics, etc . including the following as described in the experiment sheets:



- Description of a trajectory

- Uniform rectilinear motion

- Average velocity

- Instantaneous velocity

- Measurement of instantaneous velocity

- Accelerated motion with parabolic graph

- Uniformly accelerated motion-velocity and acceleration

- Effect of force on the motion of a body

- Acceleration of a body as a function of the intensity of the force applied

- Inertial mass-relative measurement of mass

- Additivity of inertial mass-units of measurement of measurement

- Dynamic measurement of a force-units of force ofthe international system

- Motion ofa body on a friction-free inclined plane-measurement of g  -

- Dynamic equilibrium on an inclined plane

- Conservation of total momentum in an elastic collision of equal masses

-  Conservation of momentum in an elastic collision of momentum in an  elastic collision of differing masses

- Weight of body-relationship between mass and and weight - approximate value of the acceleration of gravity

- Verication of the proportion between the mass and weight of a body

- Amplitude and perid of oscillation for longitudinal oscillations in the approximation of large linear elastic elongation (*)

- Dependence of the perid on the osci9llating mass for elastic longitudinal oscillations(*)

- Dependence of the perid of an elastic longitudinal oscillation on the modulus of the spring (*)


(*) The following accessories are necessary for these experiments

- Electronic oscillations counter (cat.2237.10)

- Set of no . 5 springs (cat. 4132.05).




Rotaia a cuscino d'aria, cronometro digitale, dispositivo elettronico e coppia di molle, nella esperienza "dimostrazione della dipendenza dei periodo dalla massa oscillante nelle oscillazioni longitudinali elastiche".





Our motivation in the realization of this apparatus has been the possibility of offering at a convenient price a type of equipmental experiments normally made with much more sophisticated equipment.

Some of the more important subjects that can be treated experimentally with the materials offered are:

- temporal description of a trajectory

- rectilinear uniform motion

- variable motion-mean velocity and instantaneous velocity

- uniformly accelerated motion-velocity and acceleration

- effects of force on a body in  motion

- motion of a body on a frictionless inclined plane -g measurement

elestaic and inelastic collisions between equal masses and different masses





It includes;

- Track, cat. 4132.21

- Accessories kit , cat 4132.25

- Electronic digital timer , cat.2231.70

- Air blower , cat 2108.60







A) Track

In traingular - section light alloy profile,1125 mm length, with 3 feet, 2 of which are adjustable for levelling.

A 2 mm-graduation scale is silk-screened on the guide.

The guide ends, one of whch is equipped with a mouthpiece for the air blower , allow for easy attachment of the accessories. The air exits from two sets of equidistant small holes with sufficient pressure as to elevate continuously the slides includes in the accessories kit (cat.4132.25).





3 aluminum slides of equal mass, equipped with screws for attaching accessories and for the connection by means of elastic bands to other slides.

1 magnetic switch and 1 cylindrical magnet for the synchronization of the starting of the timer with the slide release.

4 bumpers for the realization of elastic collisions.

1 terminal plasticine tray and a needle with support for the realization of inelastic collisions.

2 metal flagt equipped with weight holder.

6 black cardboard screens

1 pulley

1 set of weights with weight holder

1 envelope of elastic bands

1 piece of plasticine

cotton thread

elatic string

2 metal supports for the assembly of the photocell gates supplied with the dogotal timer cat. 2231.70


C)  ELECTRONIC DIGITAL TIMER, see cat. 2231.70


D) AIR BLOWER, see cat. 2108.60 







1 suitable for the study of free fall

1 time measurements by photocell gates

The main problem in the study of falling bodies is how to reduce the acceleration of the body to a level  where the parameters of its motion may be measured more easily.

This problem is resolved in the Atwood's machine by suspending two different masses M, and M2 (which have different weights) from the ends of a cord passing through a pulley. The difference between the two masses is small, and may be varied by the operator of the machine.

In this way, given M2>M1 the second law of dynamics

F=ma gives the acceleration of the mass M2 from the equation:

        ( M2-M1)g

a   = --------------

        (M2+ M1)

Due to its simple operation and technical characteristics , our model is equally usefull as a demonstration tool for teachers and a precise measurements system for students. The low-friction pulley, together with the accuracy of the two masses, yield remarkably precise results.

Time measurements are made by an  electronic timer connected to the photocell getes.

Possible experimentes:

1) Verification of the first law of dynamics

2) Motion of a body acted on by a constant force

3) Verification of the second law of dynamics-dependence of acceleration on force

4) Verification of the second law of dynamics-dependence of acceleration on mass

5) Indirect measurement of acceleration due to gravity

6) Study of free falling bodies

  Material necessary for operation of the machines, not supplied with the kit:

- 1 realease electromagnet control box (cat. 2236.22);

- 1 electric or eletronic timer with photocell gates.

We suggest the use of Icaro Didatticaelectronic timers (cat. 2232.30 or 2234.00) with incorporated 12 V d.c. power supply for operation of release electromagnet, which come complete with a pair of photocell gates.





- vertical columm , height 140 cm, with graduated scale (cat. 4134.61) mounted on triangular base with two levelling screws; with realease electromagnet,;

-control box for realase electromagnet, (cat. 2236.22);

- gate switch with magneticattachment (cat. 4131.62); complete with two steel spheres of different diameters;

- 4 connecting leads with banana plugs I= 50 cm (cat.2506.08);

-2 connecting leads with banana plugs I =150 cm (cat. 2506.10);

- basket for the falling sphere (cat. 4134.62).

Freely falling bodies and the acceleration due to g are studied by measuring the time  necessary to move a preset distance. This requires the use of an electric or electronic timer with inputs for electromechanical gates.

Icaro Didattica electronic timers are suitable for this purpose since they have an incorporated 12 V d.c. power supply for the realase electromagnet.

Accessories and spare parts for 4134.65:

Electonic digital timer, 2-figure display (cat.2231.75) or;

Electronic timers (cat. 2232.30 and cat. 2234.00);

Steel sphere, 18 mm, spare (cat. 4230.85);

Steel sphere, 25 mm, spare (cat. 4230.87).  





Comprises one steel rod with two slinding masses, 2 Knife-edges in hardened steel  set at a distance of 1.000 A 0.001 m and a vertical stand mounted on a heavy base fitted with levelling screws.

Accessories for 4136.00:

1 electronic timer, digital (cat.2232.30 or 2234.00);

1 electronic oscillations counter (cat. 2237.10 ). Eliminates uncertainty in the starting and stopping of the timer and premits automatic counting of oscillations; 2 connecting leads, 100 (cat. 2506.09).






Comprises: 3 spheres with hooks, E 25 mm, having different masses but with equal volumes (brass, wood, plastic); complete with 5 m cord.

Demonstrates that a body subject only to the force of gravity and to frictionless constrained reactions, conserves the total of its mechanical energy. For the ideal Maxweell pendulum, this energy remains constant, even though continually transforming between potential and Kinetic forms of energy, with the latter primarly rotational. Made up of a havey metal wheel mounted on a support frame.




4137.70 DYNAMIC TROLLEY, single

275 mm long, metal reinforced at ends, having three low-loss ball bearing wheels and fitted with spring -loaded implulse rod. Rod has three positions to provide different impluses and is triggered by a realase pin. With removable metal pins at each end to enable trolleys to be stacked or to provide anchoring points for accelerating cords. Mass 750 g approximately.






The whirling table consistes of a mechanical gear-up system with traspezoidal belt drive. Rotating the large pulley results in the high speed rotation of a shaft on 2wich accessories may be mounted. The table may be used in both vertical and horizontal positions , and can be bench-mounted with the clamp at its base. The rotating shaft accepts stems of 10 mm diameter and is fitted with a set screw.

The proper use of the whhirling table requires a uniform rotation of the drive pulley.






Comprises an aluminum body with hand cranked driving wheel coupled via a belt to a pulley and axle, giving a step-up ratio of 3.8. The end of the axle is provided with  a simple chuck and clamping screw to accept accessories having 10 mm diameter spindle. Complete withG-clamp to fix the unit for use in vertical or horizontal position. Overall dimensions: 125 x 145  x 200 H mm approx.


(mounted on E 10 mm shaft)



Two test tubes with rubber stoppers , to be partially filled with mercury and water, are mounted on a riged V - support with a 10 mm diameter shaft for attachachment to rotator . When rotated , the water and mercury reverse position due to the offect of the centrifugal force.

Accessory for 4142.10:

0300 mercury, botle of 500 g.



Model of an automatic centrifugal governor realized according to the traditional design: an articulated parallelogram with two metal balls mounted at the lateral cornes. When the governor rotates. The arms extend and the steel balls tend to move upwards , causing compression of the return spring from assuming a 180 angle at low angular velocities.





Two-place head with buckets for 15 ml test tubes.




Illustrates Focault's classic experiment demostrating that a system of reference integral with the earth is not inertial (inviarnce of the plane of oscillation of a pendulum). Other accessories to be used with the rotation equipment, -

- Rotating mirrored cube, cat. 4317.15

- Savart wheels , cat 4332.60,

-Siren disc, cat. 4332.70;

- Newton's disc, cat.445320.






For the verification of Hooke's Law of elastic deformation. Comprises a stand with adjustable-height scale; scale pan for masses ; three helical springs with indexes, each having a different elastic constant:

Accessories for 4163.01

Set of masses (cat.4111.10).




The torsion balance is an extremely sensitive instrument which is able to measure foreces which are practically impossibile to measure with instruments normally used in teaching laboratories. The instrument is based on the relationship between the angular deviation of a wire subject to torsion perpendicular to its axis , and the torque. When the system is disturded by external fields, it moves towards a new state of equilibrium depending on the torque of the pertubance. In effect, this equilibrium is reached in different time periods depenlance is subject to:

a) weak damping

b) critical damping

c) overdamping

the usual intention is to achieve critical damping , which is a condition "separating" a) and c). critical damping has the advantage of the shortest time for return to equilibrium (to a preset level of precision ) and results in quicker readings. The balance may be easily and accurately calibrated, also yielding some characteristic constants and moments of inerta. These values are auxillary-basic in the accutual measurements of unKnown moments of force of external fields. The sensitivy of the balance may be quantitatively measured with Knowm moments and plotted on a graph, forming the basic for successive measurements. Typical exmples where the torsion balance yields accurate readings are electrostatics and electromagnetism. Coulomb's law may be obtained in its original form; furthermore, it is possibile to study the " devations" resulting from the fact that charages are not point-form and that the phenomenon of induction acts at short distances. For experimentes in electromagnetism, magnets and coils permit readings of direction , and intensity of the magnetic filds produced by, for example, circular conductors and solenoids conducting a current . This limits of the concept of the magnetic diplole effects Produced by , for example, circular conductors and solenoids conducting a current: The limits of the concept of the magnetic dipole may be pointed out , and the important dipole effects and other well-Known laws of electromagnetism may also be studied. With variable currents having a frequency to  the order of the inverse of the period of oscillation of the moving element of the balance in the particular experiment, it is possible to reveal the effects of slowly variable currents and to recognize how variable electric filds are associated with variable magnetic fildes and vice versa.

Component elements of the torsion balance

1 Rigid support stand (1)

With levelling screws and lateral  rods for the support of accessories.

1Moving element support (2)

The moving element changes for the various experiments .The mirrir may used together with together with the projector light soucre with metre scale (cat.4170.05) for the measurement of the torsion angles by means of the Poggendorf optical lever method.

1Upper chuck for torsion wire (3)

The graduated drum is friction controled by the adjustment Knob for zero setting of the scale. The lever on the Knob allows for fine rotation of the end of the steel wire.

1Lower chuck for torsion wire (4)

The  pin is fixed by means of a chuck , and allows for the adjustment of the wire.

1Hydrodynamic damper (5)

The dampig sysstem comprises a hydrodynamic brake with a flag attached to the moving element and immersed in a liquid with a medium viscosity (water, vaseline oil, glycerine , etc).

A counterweight on the arm holding the flag maintains the moving element in a vertical position. The small tank holding the damping liquid is supported on a variable height plattaform.

1Two bossheads with lateral rods (6)

for support of accessories on rods.

1Two pulleys (7)

to be attached to lateral rods using the bossheads. For the application of Known forces to the moving element , by means of small weights attached to the wnds of cotton string.

1 Pulley (8)

E 100 mm, to be attched to the moving element support. Cotton string is wound once around the pulley, and a small stick prevents the free turning of the string.

1 Wires for the moving element

each wire is fitted at both ends with small cylinders which must be inserted in the holes of the upper chuck and moving element support. The balance is supplied complete with 4 harmonic steel wires ( E 0.20 mm and  E 0.40 mm) and two nylon strings.

1 Cotton string with hooks

1 Copper rider masses

in two sets of 20 pieces each.

Mass 100 K 5 mg and 500 K 5 mg.

The masses are supplied flat, and must be folded into a U-shape for use.



To extend the possible uses of the torsion balance 4170.00 , following accessories are suggested:






Together with the torsion balance (see cat.4170.00), this kit allows for the study of the laws of torsional oscillations as well as the preliminary calibrations necessary for the measurement of unknown  moments of inertia. The kit includes stackable cylinders which are suspendend from oscillating masses with various moments of inertia.


1 4 stackable hollow cylinders

The upper cylinder is supplied with a strong cord for hanging to the torsion wire. The other cylider to vary the moment of inertia of the oscillating body.

1 Torsion wire in harmonic steel

Diameter 0.60 mm


Made up of two metal jaws which may be screwed togerther to hold torsion wire.



This kit , used with the torsion balance (cat. 4170.00) , includes a number of elements necessary for the study of the magnetic field at the centre of a circular conductor and inside a solenoid, by means of the measurement of the mechanical moment exerted on a search dipole.

In particular, the following may be obtained:

- the proportion between the intensity of the field and the intensity of the current, for both circular conductors and solenolds;

- the inverse proportion between the intensity of the field and the radius of the circular conductor;

- the independence of the field on the diameter of the solenoid;

- the proportion between the field and the density of the turns of the solenoid;

-the direction of the fields in both cases.


1 two circular loops

of different diameters with insulating handie and shaft.

1two stright solenoids

of equal length, but with different diameters. Each solenoid has two adjacent windings., with the ends connected to four terminals. They can be connected inb series so as to double the density of the turns. There is a slot hallfway along the solenoids to allow the moving element of the torsion balance to be fitted directy into the solenoid. There is a short shaft on the bases of the solenoids for attachment to the lateral rods.

1Cylindrical magnet

to be used an element sensitive to the presence of a magnetic field. To be mounted in the central hole of the moving component support.

Accessories for 4170.30:

Low-tension power  supply unit with 6 V 5A outlet for projector (cat. 2408.00); Stopwatch (cat. 2231.10); Tester (cat. 2274.10).



The coil, which is the principal element of this kit, may be used to replace the magnetic needie for experiments in eletromagnetism with the torsion balance and kit 4170.30. The coil offers the advantage of operating with more intense fields without altering  the magnetic moment of the search element. Among the many experiments which can be carried out with this kit , it is possible to investigate the equivalence between magnetic needie and coil and evalute the rough value of the magnetic permeability of air. The kit includes:

1 Moving element with coil

To be suspended between two steel wires which also act as conductors for the feed current. The element searches the magnetic field as a replacement for the magnetic needie. A central hole may be used to house a cylindrical magnet. The direction of the winding is marked on the coil.

1 insulated pivot

fits on the chuck of the base of the torsion balance, used to hold the lower steel in tension without earth.

1 Threaded arm

To be screwed into the moving element for the application of an external force.

1 steel wire, harmonic, E 0.20 mm

1 Cylindrical magnet

1 Bossheads for lateral rods.

Accessories for 4170.40:

Low tension power supply unit with 6V 5A output for projector (cat.2408.00); Tester (cat.2274.10)




To send to info@icarodidattica.it an e-mail message containing questions or comments on the present Catalogue Produced.
Copyright 1999 ICARO DIDATTICA S.r.l.
Modernized Limited liability company: 14 febbraio 2007