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Pizza Tossing Physics Gives Insight to Mini Motors

Who would have thought there would be a link between pizza tossing and miniature motors?“At first it started from a conversation I had with a colleague, Dr. Heidi Forde from medicine here at Monash University,” James Friend, coauthor of the study, told PhysOrg.com. “She couldn't understand how our ...

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Who would have thought there would be a link between pizza tossing and miniature motors?

“At first it started from a conversation I had with a colleague, Dr. Heidi Forde from medicine here at Monash University,” James Friend, coauthor of the study, told PhysOrg.com. “She couldn't understand how our little motors worked. So I had the flash of insight that, well, they work like a chef tossing pizza dough. The dough spins just like the rotor spins because the chef tosses the rotor just like the motor does; the differences between the two are just really in the details. Turns out no one had apparently thought about how to really toss pizza, either, so that became a bigger part of what we looked at with this, and when we found that experts tossed pizza exactly as the theory said they should for optimum results, we were thrilled.”


And here's a lesson on how to toss your pizza and see this motion in action from the California Culinary Academy:



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About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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