Atwood Machine (top)

Atwood Machine (top)

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
George Atwood, a mathematics tutor at Trinity College, Cambridge, described this type of instrument in 1784, explaining its use for verifying the laws of motion with constant acceleration. The Atwood machine soon became a common piece of classroom apparatus, suitable for teaching classical mechanics. This top of an Atwood machine came from the Department of Physics at the University of Virginia.
Ref: George Atwood, A Treatise on the Rectilinear Motion and Rotation of Bodies, with a Description of Original Experiments Relative to the Subject (Cambridge, 1784).
W. B. Rogers, Elements of Mechanical Philosophy, for the Use of Junior Students of the University of Virginia (Boston, 1852), pp. 121-123.
Currently not on view
Object Name
demonstration apparatus
overall: 14 1/4 in x 10 in; 36.195 cm x 25.4 cm
overall: 14 3/8 in x 9 3/4 in; 36.5125 cm x 24.765 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object