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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: A-C, D-K, L-Q, R-S, T-Z

(books, tee shirts, mug): click on "Store" in the menu at the left
New --- Facebook Flying Circus of Physics site: new videos from me every month. The first in the series: the Cheerios effect. Plus 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
A random sample from the book appears at lower right each time you come to this site.

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

Flying Circus of Physics SpotlightFlying Circus of Physics Spotlight

The case of the burning hospital gurneys
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A burn victim is often treated in a special, oxygen-rich chamber. On several occasions, as the gurney (bed with wheels) was being pulled from the chamber, the gurney caught fire and threaten to burn the burn victim. Why do the gurneys catch fire? Here is the physics answer.

Flying Circus of Physics SampleFlying Circus of Physics Sample

Run or walk in the rain?

Should you run or walk when crossing a street in the rain without an umbrella (Fig. 1-1)? Running certainly means that you spend less time in the rain, but it also means that you may be intercepting more of the raindrops. Does the answer change if a wind blows the drops either toward or away from you? MORE


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