You may remember my previous post about fairy tale physics. Well, here’s yet another one for ya…this one with different fairy tales, and more in depth science. It’s part of my Valentine’s Day gift for my Jesse, a physics teacher near Philly.
This article comes from LiveScience, and was written by a dude from the American Institute of Physics. Again, we are first treated to a look at Rapunzel:
Can human hair support the weight of another person? On average one strand of hair can support about three and one-half ounces, or about the weight of two candy bars. Each strand of dark hair is generally thicker, and therefore stronger, than blond hair. But, alas, Rapunzel must make do with blond locks. Given that blondes generally have about 140,000 hairs on their heads, her hair should easily support the weight of many, many princes. However, there is more to this story.
I’m a brunette, so I’ve got it made. The article also includes this gem:
Three scientists recently published a paper in the journal Physical Review Letters showing that there are conditions under which a carpet could fly. They used the basic laws of physics to show that a small, thin carpet could fly if the air were vibrating at the right frequency, much like how a piece of tissue paper floats softly to the ground when it is dropped. Their calculations showed that small waves of air in repeated fast pulses could steer a carpet at a speed of around one foot per second.
I know what I want for Valentine’s Day. 😉
The article also discusses making the Little Mermaid lose her voice by creating “sound shields,” which sounds a little funky to me. I’ll stick with magic. It’s worked for the last dozen or so mermaids I’ve bewitched.