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Pizza Tossing



Pizza tossing is something that looks absurd at first - throwing dough into the air and spinning it around like a basketball on your finger. As it clearly takes a lot of skill, it also possesses several aspects about physics.

Most obviously the pizza is given a centripetal acceleration of v^2/r and a force of mv^2/r and it can be treated as an object in uniform circular motion. The most  ideal motion for a single toss is a spiral trajectory. When this dough is at rest the tosser must apply a torque to give it an angular acceleration (Aang = Torque/Inertia). The ideal motion of multiple tosses is a semi-elliptical trajectory. In this case the tosser will not have the dough completely flat and it will fly through the air at an angle. This requires a ton of skill and experience on the tossers part.

Another aspect about pizza tossing is impulse. When the tosser is catching the pizza after finishing the process, he/she obviously doesn't want to rip the pizza and start over. In order to prevent this, they must lower their hand slightly slower than the speed at which the pizza is falling in order to increase the landing time. Since impulse is equal to the Force x Contact Time, this would deliver a smaller change in momentum for the dough and lower the chance of the dough ripping.

Lastly, the force of friction plays a big role. The addition of flour  in making the dough allows for a lower coefficient of friction and makes it slightly harder, since there must be enough friction for the tosser to thrust the dough into the air and spin it quickly, or it will end up ripping. When making the perfect pizza you must try to increase the amount of friction.

Even though I have no idea how to toss dough in order to make a pizza, I do thoroughly enjoy consuming pizza, as it is a great bridge between all of the food groups :lol::lol:



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