# The Physics Of Boomerangs Essay

1382 words - 6 pages

The Physics of Boomerangs

The successful flight of a boomerang looks as though it never should happen. Its more or less circular flight path comes from the interaction of two physical phenomena: the aerodynamic lift of the arms of the boomerang and the spinning boomerang’s maintenance of angular momentum. Briefly put, the airfoil at the boomerang’s forward rotating edge provides more lift than its rearward rotating edge. This elevates one side of the boomerang. The spinning object maintains angular momentum by turning at a right angle to its axis of rotation. When the spin and the velocity of boomerang are just right, it flies away and returns in an aesthetically satisfying circle.

The boomerang’s distinctive flight starts with its aerodynamic properties. Boomerangs come in a variety of shapes. The traditional forms are variations on an L with equally long arms. There are also boomerangs with three or even four arms radiating from a center. And there are delta boomerangs.1 Whatever the configuration, every boomerang has airfoils at its extremities. Looking outward from the center of rotation of the boomerang, the left side of the blade is the leading edge of the air foil for right-handed throwers.2

As the boomerang spins, the airfoils at its perimeter create lift. Our text, Physics: A World View, discusses aerodynamics and Bernoulli’s principle. It explains the relationship between the velocity of a fluid and the pressure that the fluid exerts. A fluid gains energy when it speeds up as, for example when it goes through a constricting area in a pipe or passes around an airfoil. Since the gravitational potential energy is constant, the change is in kinetic energy. Since there is an acceleration of the fluid, the pressure behind the fluid at the constricted point must be greater than at the constriction. Putting it the other way, the pressure at the constricted point must be less than the pressure in the unconstricted part of the flow.3

This explanation is clear when discussing fluids in clearly defined areas of flow such as a pipe. But when a fluid encounters an obstruction in an open situation--a current in a river hitting a stick or an airfoil in the air--the same general rule applies. As the fluid accelerates around an object, its pressure decreases. If an airfoil is moving through the air, then the air accelerates as it goes over it. If the air foil were symmetrical, the air pressure would drop on both sides and the foil would have no net force acting on it. But if one side of a foil were curved and the other flat, then the pressure on the curved side would be less and the foil would be drawn in the direction of the lower air pressure (or the higher pressure on the flat side would push the foil in the direction of the curved side). For example, when rules allow, race cars have an
upside down foil along their bottoms to increase down force and with it, their cornering ability. Much more commonly, airplane wings and helicopter...

## Find Another Essay On The Physics of Boomerangs

### The Physics of Tennis Essay

932 words - 4 pages The Physics of Tennis I. Introduction Background: A friendly game of tennis is being played. Camera: pans away from the game and zooms to Sunne. Sunne: Hello, my name is Sunne. Today, my group, which consists of Ravi, Gramh, Whitney and myself, will portray how physics plays an essential role in one specific aspect of tennis. This aspect is the tennis racquet itself, which can only be mastered when the

### The Physics of Basketball Essay

1478 words - 6 pages The Physics of Basketball The NBA playoffs are making the headlines all over. Every news channel, sports channel, and newspaper has a story about the big games. Everyone is making bets as to who will be the big champions. Will it be the defending champions, Los Angeles Lakers, or will it possibly be one of the underdogs. This is the most intensive time of year for basketball fans as they watch the teams battle out the game. Up and down

1933 words - 8 pages The Physics of Basketball There are many aspects to the game of basketball and physics can be applied to all of them. Although to be good at basketball it is not necessary to play it from a physics point of view. Basketball players become good by developing muscle memory for the actions that must be performed in the game of basketball from years of practice. Nevertheless knowing some of the physics in the game of basketball can help a

### The Physics of Immortality.

624 words - 2 pages The Physics of ImmortalityHere it is at last, just what we've all been waiting for! Modern science proves everything you have always wanted: resurrection after death, eternal life, and idyllic sex forever! The abstruse topics of quantum cosmology and computer complexity theory prove it all true: "If any reader has lost a loved one or is afraid of death, modern physics says: 'be comforted, you and they shall live again"! Not only that, but you no

### The Physics of Volleyball

1373 words - 5 pages The Physics of o Volleyball From six thirty one morning to three O’ clock the next morning was my longest volleyball day ever. Fourteen and a half hours of play with only 3 breaks for food, makes for an exhausting event. So what makes volleyball worth such a sacrifice? It is the endless possibilities and outcomes that can occur by playing this magnificent sport and challenging the basic laws of physics. In the sport of volleyball the

### The Physics of Skiing

1242 words - 5 pages The Physics of Skiing I have been skiing for about five years and I find it to be one of the most fun and challenging sports there is. A lot of the reason it is so challenging is because of the laws of physics such as gravity and friction. In this essay I will discuss how physics relates to skiing and how this physics makes skiing so fun and challenging. I will also discuss how things like wax and the shape and width of your skis can

### The History of physics.

1326 words - 5 pages Physics began when man first started to study his surroundings. Early applications of physics include the invention of the wheel and of primitive weapons. The people who built Stone Henge had knowledge of physical mechanics in order to move the rocks and place them on top of each other. It was not until during the period of Greek culture that the first systematic treatment of physics started with the use of mechanics. Thales is often said to

### The Physics of Ultrasound

873 words - 3 pages Without the use of physics in the medical field today, diagnosis of problems would be challenging, to say the least. The world of medical imaging in particular has benefited greatly from the use of physics. Ultrasound is sound waves that have a frequency above human audible. (Ultrasound Physics and Instrument 111). With a shorter wavelength than audible sound, these waves can be directed into a narrow beam that is used in imaging soft

### The Physics of Baseball.

2455 words - 10 pages The Physics of BaseballPhysics is the science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two. Physics can also be defined as the branch of science which treats of the laws and properties of matter and the forces acting upon it; especially, that department of natural science which treats the causes (as gravitation, heat, light, magnetism, electricity, etc.) that modify the general properties of bodies, natural philosophy. The Physics of

### The Physics of Archery

2018 words - 8 pages The Physics of Archery There are not many activities out there that relax and soothe me quite like shooting my bow. It is not as simple as it sounds though, just pulling on the string, releasing the string, and watching the arrow fly towards your target. There are a number of aspects that must be taken into consideration when trying to shoot a bow and arrow efficiently, this is where we will get into the physics of archery. There are

### The Physics of Fireworks

1665 words - 7 pages The Physics of Fireworks "What are fireworks like?" she had asked. "They are like the Aurora Borealis" said the King, "only much more natural. I prefer them to stars myself, as you always know when they are going to appear…" -Oscar Wilde The Remarkable Rocket Why did we choose the topic of fireworks? Fireworks have been a traditional means of celebration in Hawaii for generations. They are fun to watch and even more fun

## Similar Essays

### The Physics Of Football Essay

1162 words - 5 pages The Physics of Football The crowd is cheering as the quarter back from the Chicago Bears throws the football 25 yards to the star wide receiver. As the wide receiver catches the football, he starts off on a mad dash to make a touch down. During his run for the touchdown, he does not see his opponent from the Dallas Cowboys sneaking up on him to stop his success. The wide receiver from the Chicago Bears is tackled by his opponent and

### The Physics Of Football Essay

1226 words - 5 pages The Physics of Football There is no question that everything people do in their lives involves physics. This is true from the way we communicate to the way that we fight wars. In some cases the influence of the laws of physics on our world are extremely apparent, such as in sports. Basketball, hockey, baseball and even cricket involve physics. From the most basic motions players perform in the game, to different plays designed by coaches

### The Physics Of Bowling Essay

1762 words - 7 pages The Physics of Bowling The definition of physics by some may be the science that deals with matter, energy, motion, and force. Therefore everything in the world uses physics in some way or another. One of the numerous things that deal with physics is bowling. Some of the major parts of physics bowling has is the motions, the ways that Newton’s laws apply, the different momentums, and the energy. Other physics topics include torque

### The Physics Of Judo Essay

927 words - 4 pages The Physics of Judo Judo is a martial art that is centered around physics. Even just the concept of throwing somebody is physics. To practice judo and not have a basic knowledge of physics is insane considering that physics is what makes judo possible. Judo is sport that consist of throws, take downs and over all control. Judo without physics is like have a sandwich with just bread, you don’t get much out of it. To understand how