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Physics of a Ballpoint Pen



Many of you may use a ballpoint pen on a daily basis, and not even think twice as to how it works, and how it involves everyone's favorite subject: physics. A ballpoint pen works using several mechanical basics, including gravity, and rotational forces like centripital force.

The concept of the pen is very simple: gravity forces the ink down into a resevior, sitting atop the thing that puts the ink on the surface, which is aptly called a ball. As the pen presses against the surface, ink flows onto the ball, which move and basically pulls the ink onto the surface.

This "pulling" brings in the second peice of basic mechanics in a ballpoint pen: centripital force. Although most of the work done putting the ink on a peice of paper is the initial touch, more ink needs to flow onto the ball, and some of this work is done by centripital force, or the force caused by the spinning of the ball.

As simple as it may be, a ballpoint pen uses physics to work, just as 99% of all other objects on earth do as well


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