The Best Science Pranks Ever Pulled

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The Devil in the Suitcase

Jean Baptiste Perrin was a French physicist who verifed Einstein's observations of Brownian Motion, thus confirming the atomic nature of matter. For his pioneering work, Perrin was awarded the 1926 Nobel Prize for Physics.

Perrin was also renowned for his mischief. One day, at a Paris railway station, he placed a powerful aviation gyroscope into a suitcase, set the machine spinning, then left it on the platform. After some time, a porter, assuming the luggage to be forgotten, picked up the suitcase and walked off. But when he turned a corner, the case refused to follow.

Using angular momentum of a heavy, spinning disk, gyroscopes maintain the same orientation in space regardless of how its support is turned.

After a few moments of wrangling, the bemused portal dropped the bag and ran off, screaming, "Le diable lui-même doit être à l'intérieur!"

"The Devil himself must be inside!"

Source: Encyclopedia of Science

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

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