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Physics Solved the Secret to Bottle Flipping

Remember the water bottle flipping craze that swept the Internet a couple of years ago?

The premise of bottle flipping seems simple: throw a plastic bottle filled with water, have it flip once in the air and then land upright. Turns out, it's not as easy as it sounds.

Enter physics! A team of first-year physics students from the University of Twente in the Netherlands have solved the secret of the perfect bottle flip:

"In physics, this is called conservation of angular momentum," [study co-author Mees Flapper] said.
With the right amount of fluid to slow the bottle's spin, the container loses rotational speed and appears to pause at a horizontal position. The maneuver culminates in a descent that is nearly vertical, "followed by a smooth landing," the study authors reported.

Read the rest of the study over at LiveScience

Or view the video clip above.

(Image: Alvaro Marin)


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