The Physics of Boomerangs

MIT Blossoms

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This learning video explores the mysterious physics behind boomerangs and other rapidly spinning objects. Students will get to make and throw their own boomerangs between video segments! A key idea presented is how torque causes the precession of angular momentum. One class period is required to complete this learning video, and the optimal prerequisites are a familiarity with forces, Newton’s laws, vectors and time derivatives. Each student would need the following materials for boomerang construction: cardboard (roughly the size of a postcard), ruler, pencil/pen, scissors, protractor, and a stapler.

For more information visit: http://blossoms.mit.edu/videos/lessons/physics_boomerangs

Lesson tags: 
Good for Parents
Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial ShareAlike CC (BY-NC-SA)
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July 2017