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, 1F, 1G, 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-O, P-Q, R, S, T-Z
Store (books, tee shirts, mug): click on "Store" in the menu at the left
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
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 Adobe.com.
Flying Circus of Physics Spotlight
Just before the third game of the 1989 baseball World Series was to begin in Oakland, California, an earthquake erupted 100 kilometers away. When the seismic waves hit the Oakland area, a long stretch of the Nimitz Freeway collapsed, dropping an upper deck onto a lower deck. However, the rest of the freeway, with similar construction, did not collapse. What was so different about the failed portion?
Flying 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
© 2014 Jearl Walker. All Rights Reserved