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
Seven videos in my Flying Circus of Physics video series with Cleveland State University has been posted. About one per month is going up. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChrOvC-DFkPNxKIxe-XKD3g
Facebook Flying Circus of Physics site (public site): my old television videos, many photos, and more stories. Here is the link. Come for a visit.
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
Flying Circus of Physics Spotlight
Fans at some sporting events can be so enthusiastic that they shake the ground enough for seismic detectors to record ground waves. With coordinated jumping, you would think the stadium would collapse.
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
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