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Flying circus of physics

Chapter 1:

Slipping Between Falling Drops

Download PDF file of Chapter references

To access the pdf file for all the video links and journal citations for the items in the book, click on the pdf icon for "Chapter References & Comments” at the top of the page, next to Armando Armadillo. (Go to www.Adobe.com for a free pdf reader.) To access the updates and new items (not in the book), click on any "update" or "new" in the following list.

  • 1.1 Run or walk in the rain?    update July 2007
  • 1.2 Traffic platoons and gridlock
  • 1.3 Shock waves on the freeway
  • 1.4 Minimum trailing distance for a car
  • 1.5 Running a yellow light
  • 1.6 Spin out during hard braking   update Mar 2009
  • 1.7 To slide or not to slide
  • 1.8 Skidding to a stop
  • 1.9 SHORT STORY: Some records for skid marks
  • 1.10 Woodpeckers and big-horn sheep and concussion
  • 1.11 SHORT STORY: The game of g's    update May 2009
  • 1.12 Head-on car collision    update Jul 2008   update Nov 2009
  • 1.13 SHORT STORY: Playing with locomotives
  • 1.14 Rear-end collision and whiplash injury
  • 1.15 Race-car turns
  • 1.16 Sprint tracks
  • 1.17 Take-off illusion
  • 1.18 SHORT STORY: Air Canada Flight 143
  • 1.19 Fear and trembling at the amusement park update Sep 2006   June 2014
  • 1.20 SHORT STORY: Circus loop-the-loop acts
  • 1.21 Catching a fly ball
  • 1.22 SHORT STORY: High ball
  • 1.23 Hitting a baseball    update July 2008
  • 1.24 Legal passes in rugby
  • 1.25 Juggling
  • 1.26 Pole vaulting
  • 1.27 Launch of an atlatl and a toad tongue
  • 1.28 Slings
  • 1.29 Tomahawks
  • 1.30 Bolas
  • 1.31 Siege machine
  • 1.32 Human cannonball
  • 1.33 Basketball shots     update Jan 2008
  • 1.34 Short story: Records in free throws
  • 1.35 Hang in basketball and ballet
  • 1.36 Golfing
  • 1.37 SHORT STORY: Curtain of death of a meteor strike   update Nov 2009
  • 1.38 The high jump and the long jump   update Dec 2010   July 2012    Dec 2012
  • 1.39 Jumping beans    update July 2007
  • 1.40 Somersault of a click beetle, attack of a mantis shrimp
  • 1.41 SHORT STORY: Some record lifts   update Sep 2014
  • 1.42 Chain collisions
  • 1.43 Dropping a stack of balls
  • 1.44 SHORT STORY: A crashing demonstration
  • 1.45 Karate       update May 2010
  • 1.46 Boxing                        update Sep 2006  Oct 2008
  • 1.47 Skywalk collapse
  • 1.48 World Trade Center collapses
  • 1.49 Falls from record heights    update Dec 2009
  • 1.50 A daring parachuting rescue
  • 1.51 Cats in long falls          update May 2007
  • 1.52 Land diving and bungee jumping
  • 1.53 Trapped in a falling elevator cab
  • 1.54 SHORT STORY: Bomber crashes into Empire State Building
  • 1.55 Falls in fighting, landing during parachuting
  • 1.56 Beds of nails     update Dec 2008
  • 1.57 Hanging spoons  update Jul 2008 Aug 2009  Nov 2009   July 2010
  • 1.58 Trails of migrating rocks
  • 1.59 Hitches      update   Dec 2012
  • 1.60 Rock climbing    update  Jan 2014
  • 1.61 Rock climbing by bighorn sheep
  • 1.62 Pulling statues across Easter Island
  • 1.63 Erecting Stonehenge
  • 1.64 Lifting the blocks for the Egyptian pyramids
  • 1.65 A Slinky
  • 1.66 Leaning tower of blocks     update Mar 07
  • 1.67 Leaning tower of Pisa   update June 08
  • 1.68 Falling dominoes    update Mar 09   Nov 10   Apr 11 
  • 1.69 Falling chimneys, pencils, and trees    update Jan 2013
  • 1.70 Breaking pencil points
  • 1.71 Failure of a bridge section
  • 1.72 Jack-knifing of a train
  • 1.73 Bowling strikes
  • 1.74 Shots in pool and billiards
  • 1.75 Miniature golf
  • 1.76 Superball tricks    update  Sep 12
  • 1.77 Racquetball shots    update Nov 07
  • 1.78 SHORT STORY: A controversial goal   update Nov 07
  • 1.79 Tennis
  • 1.80 Bicycles and motorcycles
  • 1.81 Motorcycle long jumps   update Apr 09   Mar 13
  • 1.82 Skateboards
  • 1.83 Pitching horseshoes
  • 1.84 Spinning Hula-Hoops and lassos
  • 1.85 Yo-yo     update Nov 12
  • 1.86 Unwinding a yo-yo
  • 1.87 Driving through the sound barrier
  • 1.88 SHORT STORY: Spin test explosion
  • 1.89 Kayak roll
  • 1.90 Curling
  • 1.91 Tightrope walk       update Feb 2008
  • 1.92 Bull riding
  • 1.93 Tearing toilet paper
  • 1.94 Skipping stones and bombs     update Jun 2006  Jun 2008   Jan 2012
  • 1.95 Spinning ice skater
  • 1.96 Spinning a book
  • 1.97 Falling cat, astronaut antics, and fancy diving   update Sep 2008
  • 1.98 Quadruple summersault
  • 1.99 Tumbling toast   update June 2014
  • 1.100 Ballet
  • 1.101 Skiing
  • 1.102 Abandoned on the ice
  • 1.103 SHORT STORY: Rotation sequence matters
  • 1.104 Personalities of tops
  • 1.105 SHORT STORY: A headstrong suitcase
  • 1.106 Tippy tops      update Jan 13   
  • 1.107 Spinning eggs   update June 2014
  • 1.108 Diabolos
  • 1.109 Rattlebacks    update Nov 2006
  • 1.110 Wobbling coins and bottles   update Apr 2009
  • 1.111 Judo, aikido and Olympic wrestling
  • 1.112 Bullet spin, and long passes   update Mar 2008
  • 1.113 Pumping playground swings
  • 1.114 Incense swing      update Aug 12
  • 1.115 The pendulum in the pit
  • 1.116 Inverted pendulums, unicycle riders
  • 1.117 Carrying loads on the head
  • 1.118 Carrying loads with oscillating poles
  • 1.119 Coupled pendulums
  • 1.120 Spring pendulum
  • 1.121 The bell that would not ring
  • 1.122 Spaghetti effect     update Nov 2008
  • 1.123 The spider and the fly
  • 1.124 Footbridge and dance floor oscillation    update Feb 2007    July 2008
  • 1.125 Precariously balanced structures and rocks
  • 1.126 Sinking of the nuclear submarine Kursk
  • 1.127 Detection by sand scorpion
  • 1.128 Snow waves
  • 1.129 Football-stadium wave
  • 1.130 Body armor    update Feb 2011
  • 1.131 Archer's paradox
  • 1.132 Oscillating plants
  • 1.133 Oscillating tall buildings   update July 2006
  • 1.134 Diving from a springboard
  • 1.135 Flycasting
  • 1.136 Falkland Islands battle, Big Bertha
  • 1.137 Jack and the beanstalk to space
  • 1.138 Spring fever and the standing of eggs   update Mar 08
  • 1.139 Moon madness
  • 1.140 Gravity hill
  • 1.141 Falling through the center of Earth    update Sep 2007
  • 1.142 Stretching of plastic shopping bags
  • 1.143 Giant’s Causeway and starch columns  update May 2007
  • 1.144 Broken fingernails
  • 1.145 Crumpling paper into a ball    update Oct 2007
  • 1.146 Playful to tragic examples of explosive expansion    update Dec 2009
  • 1.147 Why a hanging picture becomes crooked    update Jan 2010
  • 1.148 A two-spring surprise
  • 1.149 Stability of a pop can
  • 1.150 Wilberforce pendulum
  • 1.151 Drag racing starts    update Aug 2008
  • 1.152 Turn or stop
  • 1.153 Slipping past a bus
  • 1.154 Compression line in pulled tape
  • 1.155 Bobsled in a curve
  • 1.156 Too quick to slide
  • 1.157 The home of the Little Prince
  • 1.158 Parachuting with a pumpkin
  • 1.159 Pulling in a feisty fish
  • 1.160 Fiddlesticks
  • 1.161 Rotor on a notched stick   update Sep 2009
  • 1.162 Shot put and hammer throw   update July 2006
  • 1.163 Jumps during downhill ski race
  • 1.164 Pulling a table cloth beneath dishes   update Jun 2008   Dec 2007   Apr 13
  • 1.165 SHORT STORY: Pulling with teeth    update Jun 2008
  • 1.166 Jerking chair
  • 1.167 Lifting a person with fingers
  • 1.168 Rockets, and a problem with an iceboat   update Oct 2009  Dec 2010   
  • 1.169 SHORT STORY: Earth to Venus
  • 1.170 A choice of hammers
  • 1.171 Pressure regulator
  • 1.172 Sliding a stick across fingers
  • 1.173 SHORT STORY: Giant tug-of-war
  • 1.174 Shooting along a slope
  • 1.175 Starting a car on a slippery road
  • 1.176 Balancing a tire
  • 1.177 Carnival bottle swing
  • 1.178 Hanging goblet, ready to crash
  • 1.179 Breaking a drill bit
  • 1.180 Swinging watches
  • 1.181 SHORT STORY: Flattening the Golden Gate Bridge
  • 1.182 Hunting by railway vehicles
  • 1.183 Oscillating car antenna
  • 1.184 A ship's antiroll tank
  • 1.185 Road corrugation    update Apr 08
  • 1.186 Seeing only one side of the moon
  • 1.187 Intelligence satellites
  • 1.188 Air drag speeds up satellite
  • 1.189 Moon trip figure eight
  • 1.190 Earth and sun pull on moon
  • 1.191 Gravitational slingshot effect
  • 1.192 Making a map of India
  • 1.193 Shaving with twin blades
  • 1.194 The handedness of river erosion The following are not in the book.
  • 1.195 Falls over Niagara Falls    new item Aug 06
  • 1.196 Backpacks on bungee cords are easier to carry  new item Feb 07
  • 1.197 Projectile penguin from an ice hole    new item Feb 07
  • 1.198 Swordplay    new item April 07
  • 1.199 Car and train surfing    new item May 07
  • 1.200 Flea circus     new item July 07
  • 1.201 Stacking stones and bowling balls     new item July 07
  • 1.202 Cars on ice    new item July 07   Jan 2011
  • 1.203 Penn and Teller magic     new item Oct 07
  • 1.204 Implosion demolition     new item Nov 07  Sep 09    Dec 09 
  • 1.205 Wheel of Death    new item Dec 07
  • 1.206 Falling cranes --- from silly to deadly    new item Apr 08
  • 1.207 Twining plants on a garden rod    new item May 08
  • 1.208 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull   new item May 08
  • 1.209 Alligator death roll    new item Jul 08
  • 1.210 Criss Angel magic --- floating between two buildings    new item Oct 08
  • 1.211 Motorcycle Ball of Death    new item Nov 08
  • 1.212 Bursting balloon   new item Nov 08
  • 1.213 Pub trick --- removing the cork from a wine bottle   new item Jan 09
  • 1.214 Puzzle --- bridge collapse under weight of a house   new item Jan 09
  • 1.215 Pedestrian throw, moose throw, camel throw   new item Jan 09  May 2014
  • 1.216 "Hang on a minute, lads. I've got a great idea."   new item Feb 09    
  • 1.217 Pub trick --- balancing a hammer and a lorry   new item Feb 09
  • 1.218 Landing an airplane on water  new item Feb 09
  • 1.219 Charles Taylor's one-wheel vehicle   new item Apr 09
  • 1.220 Spaghetti breaking   new item Jun 09
  • 1.221 Pub trick --- hanging a bottle on a wall   new item Jun 09
  • 1.222 Pizza tossing  new item Jul 09
  • 1.223 Pub trick --- tying a ring hitch  new item Jul 09
  • 1.224 Worm grunting, and the sandworms of Dune  new item Nov 09
  • 1.225 Pub trick --- champagne cork as a mortar round   new item Jan 10
  • 1.226 Knight Rider stunt  new item Jan 10
  • 1.227 Truck in strong wind  new item Feb 10
  • 1.228 Lucky shots  new item Feb 10
  • 1.229 A truck falls over onto a car  new item Mar 10
  • 1.230 Pub trick --- removing a coin from under a mug  new item Mar 10  
  • 1.231 Roller derby whip move  new item Apr 10
  • 1.232 Pub trick --- transferring a steel ball between beer mats   new item May 10
  • 1.233 Snake slithering  new item Aug 10
  • 1.234 Pub trick --- picking up a glass with a straw  new item Oct 10
  • 1.235 Jumping out of a beach new item Mar 11 
  • 1.236 Bullet spinning on ice new item Apr11
  • 1.237 Clown car physics new item May 11
  • 1.238 Stacking of rods to produce a large overhang   new item Jun 11
  • 1.239 A question of balance   new item Jul 11  Aug 11  Sep 11  Oct 11    Nov 11   Dec 11   Jan 12
  • 1.240 Falling faster than the free-fall acceleration  new item Aug 11
  • 1.241  Football headers and brain damage     new item Dec 11
  • 1.242  Pouring tea on a rotating platform    new item Jan 12 
  • 1.243  Clinging    new item Feb 12
  • 1.244  Blowguns and spitballs   new item Mar 12  
  • 1.245  Ponytail shapes     new item Mar 12
  • 1.246  Coin through small opening    new item Jun 12
  • 1.247  Photograph of a rolling bicycle wheel     new item July 12
  • 1.248  Pub trick --- height versus circumference    new item Sep 12
  • 1.249  Falling Slinky     new item Oct 12
  • 1.250  A map of physics    new item Dec 12
  • 1.251  Pub trick --- toothpick magic and crawling through a business card        new item Feb 13
  • 1.252  Pub trick --- linking two paperclips without touching them    new item Mar 13
  • 1.253  Through the windshield     new item Mar 13
  • 1.254  Climbing stairs, on your head     new item Apr 13   
  • 1.255  Dropping a rock down a deep hole    new item May 2013
  • 1.256  Pub trick --- hand twist rod inversion    new item June 2013
  • 1.257  Escalator torques   new item June 2013
  • 1.258  The RIT stairway illusion   new item July 2013
  • 1.259  Groucho walking and running     new item July 2013
  • 1.260  Death by bunk bed   new item Aug 2013
  • 1.261  Leverage Russian style    new item March 2014
  • 1.262  Pub trick --- opening a bottle without a bottle opener    new item Apr 2014
  • 1.263  Ship collisions    new item Apr 2014
  • 1.264  Pole climbing, standard and novel   new item July 2014
  • 1.265  Leaping match   new item July 2014
  • 1.266  Cow tipping   new item August 2014
  • 1.267  Shooting a bullet into a wood block    new item August 2014
  • 1.268  Pub trick --- wobbly table   new item Sep 2014
  • 1.269  Pub trick --- opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew  new item Oct 2014
  • 1.270  Loop-the-loop by cars, bikes, skateboards, and (!) simply running   new item Nov 2014
  • 1.271  Pub trick --- getting a spoon into a mug     new item Nov 2014 

 

  • Chapter 1Slipping Between Falling Drops(MOTION)
  • Chapter 2Racing On The Ceiling, Swimming Through Syrup(FLUIDS)
  • Chapter 3Hiding Under The Covers, Listening For The Monsters(SOUND)
  • Chapter 4Striking At The Heat In The Night(THERMAL PROCESS)
  • Chapter 5Ducking First A Flash And Then A Roar (ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM)
  • Chapter 6Splashing Colors Everywhere, Like A Rainbow(OPTICS)
  • Chapter 7Armadillos Dancing Against A Swollen Moon(VISION)
  • Physics For...

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