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Flying circus of physics

Boogie woogie

Friday, April 01, 2016

Boogie woogie

Jearl Walker

April 2016  Boogie woogie is a style of music and dance that began almost a century ago and peaked in popularity with the swing bands of the 1940s. Here is a highly energetic example. Other than simple torques and rotations, how many applications of physics can you spot? same video

Here are two of the physics applications that I see: The man manages to bring his legs up in a jump but without allowing his center of mass to move. I can do this if I stand on one leg while bringing the other leg up quickly. But keeps his center of mass approximately stationary while both legs are moving by bringing one leg down while moving the other way up. In that way, the center of his body’s mass does not shift during the motion.

Another bit of physics occurs toward the end, when he reaches between his legs for the woman’s arms and then pulls her through his legs. The floor is fairly slippery and offers little friction to oppose the sliding. So, he and the woman are approximately an isolated system and the center of mass of that system cannot move horizontally. While the woman slides to the left, the man slides to the right.

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