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The perfect pancake toss

Thank you, science!

The perfect pancake toss
20 February 2012

Behold: The key to mastering the art of the perfect pancake toss. The work of Dr Mark Hadley, researcher at the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics, the formula behind the year’s trickiest culinary feat is:

(Where v is the launch velocity; g is the acceleration; h, the height of the toss; a is the length of the forearm; w, the spin; θis the number of pancake half turns; and p, the pan diameter)

Apparently the recipe for a splat-free landing rests on one key element - ‘perfect pancake altitude’. When tossed at the right height, the pancake’s launch velocity and spin are perfectly matched.

For a typical toss, you need to aim for a pancake height of 0.5 metres. Your upwards arm swing will naturally give the pancake a velocity of 3m/sec, imparting a spin of five radians per second, resulting in a successful travel time of just over half a second, before landing safely back in the pan. Away you go then...

Via: Ocado