Mathematicians have determined the optimal shape of heavy stones for “baking pancakes” on the water

(ORDO NEWS) — To achieve the maximum number of rebounds from the surface, a light stone should be practically flat.

But if you use a heavier projectile, then it is better if it is more rounded, resembling potatoes.

Throwing a stone into the water so that it bounces off its surface several times – or simply ” pancakes ” – is an ancient and highly respected pastime.

It has been known at least since the time of Ancient Rome, and today it is considered an almost full-fledged sport, within which championships are held, associations operate, and records are even recorded.

The current record was set in 2013 and is 88 rebounds.

Intuitively, it seems that the maximum number of “pancakes” can be achieved by using the lightest and flattest stone possible and throwing it, with a strong twist, parallel to the surface of the water.

However, new work by British mathematicians Ryan Palmer and Frank Smith shows that things may not be that simple.

In fact, the work of Palmer and Smith is devoted to much more serious issues than “pancakes” – first of all, the collision of ice particles with a thin layer of moisture on the wing of a flying aircraft.

To better understand this process, the scientists presented it in the form of a mathematical model that evaluates the rebound of two-dimensional solids from a liquid depending on their mass and shape.

Calculations have shown that light objects do indeed bounce the better the flatter and smoother their surface is.

But if you use something more massive, then it is better to choose a curved stone, closer to the shape of a potato or mango.

The interaction of such objects with water is superelastic, they “press” the liquid more efficiently and deeper, deforming its surface more and experiencing more pressure in response.

As a result, most of the horizontally directed momentum is converted into a vertical one, allowing the stone to move further, rather than go into the water instantly.

If such a heavy stone is given sufficient speed, then theoretically it can bounce many times.

But if it is not sufficiently curved from below, then the very first collision with the surface of the liquid will certainly be the last for it.


Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.