Meet the Energy Machine, the tallest and biggest exhibit of the Hong Kong Science Museum. Occupying a space comprising four floors, this 22-metre-high Energy Machine is the largest of its kind in the world. This exhibit demonstrates energy conversion by means of a stream of balls rolling along tracks like a roller coaster, producing dramatic sounds and visual effects. The machine has three sections: Tower A, Tower B and a Connecting Gallery.
The Beginning (Tower A)
Tower A rises up from the ground floor of the Exhibition Hall where the ball elevator is used to lift the bright orange balls to the top of the Energy Machine. The potential energy of the balls increases as they move up.
In Transit (Connecting Gallery)
After the balls reach the top, they are systematically directed to various tracks by a series of computer controlled gates. Some balls take a shorter route by sliding down the cylindrical spiral in Tower A, while other balls go along the straight, wavy or stepwise tracks in the Connecting Gallery to reach Tower B. As the balls move downwards, their potential energy converts into kinetic energy.
The Energy Symphony (Tower B)
Tower B is packed with surprises and interesting gears. The combined weight of five balls can activate a mechanical device to send the balls towards a zig-zag track. Some balls on other tracks hit drums, sound chimes and "play" the xylophone, etc., to create an action-packed energy symphony. Adding to the visuals are the multi-coloured lights of the neon wall activated by the balls swinging sideways along the curved track. The whole journey is a demonstration of the law of conservation of energy. Energy is converted from one form to another and is neither created nor destroyed. After passing through various devices, the balls eventually return to the starting point in Tower A and wait for their next journey.
- Each synthetic fibre ball has a diameter of 19 cm and weighs 2.3 kg.
- The total length of the tracks is more than 1.6 km.
- It takes about 1.5 minutes for a ball to travel from Tower A along the longest route before returning to the starting point.
- The "brain" of the Energy Machine is an industrial computer with programmable logic controller.
Operation Time: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm
Please check "Today's Programme Schedule" at the Museum for the latest updates. Programmes are subject to change without prior notice.