German researchers have studied the aerodynamics of cardboard beer coasters and concluded that even a seasoned pitcher will not be able to fly them for long.
What are the two essential holiday accessories (apart from the lounge chair and thebathroom)? Answer: the frisbee and . Unfortunately, one does not replace the other, as a new study has just shown that investigated whether cardboard beer coasters could make good frisbees. To do this, researchers (naturally German) from the Helmholtz Institute in Radiation and Nuclear Physics and the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Bonn built a coaster-throwing device and they performed a series of experiments designed to study the of these small cardboard discs 10 cm in diameter.
Beer coaster is turned over making it unusable as a frisbee
« You would expect the beer coaster to fly the same way a frisbee does, i.e. with apointing up or down stabilizing the disc, write the researchers in their study published in . Unfortunately, taking into account the relatively low mass of the cardboard, the coaster is subjected to chaotic rotations around the two axes of the disc. “. In addition, unlike the frisbee which has rounded edges and a close to its center – which prevents its untimely turning – the beer coaster undergoes a modification of its , not in the center of the disc, but slightly offset from the front edge. ” This induces a rollover making it unusable as a frisbee », Attest the authors.
Barely 0.45 seconds of stability
The researchers confirmed the result of their theoretical equations with their coaster-throwing device, consisting of twoelectrics causing the cardboard disc to accelerate at different speeds and angular moments. Result: whatever the initials, the coaster always ends up tilting in relation to its vertical, so that it is braked and quickly falls to the ground or swirls in all directions.
A coaster thus maintains stability for barely 0.45 seconds after its launch, against 0.8 seconds for aor 16 seconds for a Frisbee. Note that the performance of the frisbee varies considerably depending on the quality of the launch. ” With a poor launcher, the Frisbee will switch to an unstable state after just a second, while a professional pitcher will be able to maintain a stable state for a much longer time. », Note the authors. However, even a seasoned pitcher won’t be able to do much with the beer coaster. You can still try to start a contest at . Send us your records!