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The NUMB3RS Behind Rock Skipping
Kirt's Cogitations™ #104

These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced (no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.

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   Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
   Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.

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The NUMB3RS Behind Rock Skipping

Skiffing, smutting, ricochet, "ducks and drakes." Those are all names for the art of rock skipping. It is now as much of a science as an art, thanks to physicist Lyderic Bocquet and his young son. Mr. Bocquet formulated equations of motion for stones, modeling them as a thin, flat object bouncing off a uniform surface. He discovered that the stones initial rate of speed and spin rate were the biggest factors in the stone's ability to skip multiple times. A high rate of spin generates a gyroscopic effect that prevents the stone from tumbling and diving into the water. Per his equations, the world record of 38 skips corresponds to a stone flying 12 meters while spinning at a rate of 14 revolutions/second.

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