Welcome to the Physical Ecology Group at the University of Lincoln
Although organisms obey the same physical laws as inanimate objects the evolutionary implications of these laws are often neglected. Physical factors influence the fitness value of traits and play an important role in the course of evolution. These are the areas of investigation that interest us.
The current record for stone-skipping is about 88 skips. For most of us, that’s an unimaginably high number, but according to physicists, human throwers may top out around 300 or 350 skips. In the video above and the accompanying article, Wired reporter Robbie Gonzalez explores both the technique of a world-record-holding skip and the physics that enable it.
The perfect skip requires many ingredients: a large, flat rock with good edges; a strong throw to spin the rock and hold it steady at the right angle of attack; and a good first contact with the right entry angle and force to set up the skips’ trajectory. The video is long, but it’s well worth a full watch. It gives you an inside look both at a master skipper and at the experts of skipping science. (Video and image credit: Wired; see also: Splash Lab, C. Clanet et al.; submitted by Kam-Yung Soh)
Heads up for those going to the APS DFD meeting! You can catch my talk Monday, Nov. 19th at 5:10PM in Room B206. I’ll be talking about how to use narrative devices to tell scientific stories. I’ll be around for the whole meeting, so feel free to come say hi!