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The Flying Circus of Physics is a book about curious events and effects of the everyday world. This site is an extension of the book.

Spotlight story for this month: Click on the title down below here
Secondary stories for this month: Click on "News/Updates" in menu at the left
Archived stories and links (hundreds): 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F1G, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7
Index to this site and the book, not only individual terms but also collections, such as "Pub physics" and "Accidents" and "Stunts": A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J-K, L, M-OP-QR, S, T-Z

The second video of the new Flying Circus video series has now been posted at the following site. This one is about hanging spoons and bottle caps from your face. I thought about also using cats but decided against it. New videos will appear about once a month. If you want to subscribe to the channel, use the subscribe button.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChrOvC-DFkPNxKIxe-XKD3g 

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Newsletter Emailed every three months (I am the only one that can see your email address. Indeed, I am the only one that can access anything here.) Sign up in the menu at the left.
Facebook Flying Circus of Physics site (public site): my old television videos and many photos. Here is the link. Come for a visit, and consider signing up as a fan of the site.
Jay Waller stories: Physics for
Citations (over 11,000) and links (over 2000) for items in the book (pdf files):
       Chap 1, Chap 2, Chap 3, Chap 4, Chap 5, Chap 6, Chap 7

----  Jearl Walker
ps. If the biplane at the top of the page doesn't have sound and motion, download the free flash player from Adobe.com.

Flying Circus of Physics SpotlightFlying Circus of Physics Spotlight

Rockfalls
Monday, June 01, 2015

In a rockfall, part of a mountain comes crashing down, flattening objects in its path. Often the stones will end up sorted, with smaller ones left higher on the mountain and larger ones farther down. Here are some dramatic videos of rockfalls with vehicles and people in their paths. 

Flying Circus of Physics SampleFlying Circus of Physics Sample

Woodpeckers and concussion

A woodpecker hammers its beak into the limb of a tree to search for insects to eat, to create storage space, or to audibly advertise for a mate. During the impact, the rate at which the head slows is about 1000 g’s (1000 times gravitational acceleration). Such a deceleration rate would be fatal to a human or at best severely damage the brain and leave the person with a concussion. Why then doesn’t a woodpecker fall from a tree either dead or unconscious every time it slams its beak into the tree? MORE

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