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Physics of Frisbee


mnich7

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A common item such as a Frisbee has very complex physics concepts that explain why it behaves a certain way. The two main physical concepts behind the Frisbee are aerodynamic lift
and gyroscopic inertia. The two main aerodynamic forces acting on a Frisbee are the drag and lift forces, these forces have a relation ship with one another and is used in order to determine the magnitude of either force. The rotation of a Frisbee is a necessary component in the mechanics of how a Frisbee flies. Without rotation, a Frisbee would just flutte rto the ground like a falling leaf and fail to produce the long distance flight that it does when thrown the right way. This is caused by the fact the aerodynamic forces are directly centered on the frisbee. In general, the lift on the front half of the disc is slightly larger than the lift on the back half which causes a torque on the Frisbee. When a Frisbee isn’t spinning, this small torque flips the front of
the disc up, and any chance for a stable flight is lost.

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