Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pizza Tossing Art Unlocks Secrets Of Tiny Motors

Date:
April 28, 2009
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
Scientists have unlocked the physics of the perfect pizza toss and will use it to design the next generation of micro motors thinner that a human hair.

Monash University scientists have unlocked the physics of the perfect pizza toss and will use it to design the next generation of micro motors thinner that a human hair.
Credit: iStockphoto/Scott Stanley

Monash University scientists have unlocked the physics of the perfect pizza toss and will use it to design the next generation of micro motors thinner that a human hair.

Mr Daniel (Kuang-Chen) Liu, a PhD student supervised by Associate Professor James Friend and Senior Lecturer Leslie Yeo, videotaped a professional pizza tosser at work. The team from Monash's Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory, then calculated how best to describe the way the dough travels through the air – including how much the dough rotates, how quickly it spins, its stability and the energy efficiency of the toss itself.

The result is a set of nonlinear differential equations that captures the art of pizza tossing.

"In brief, if you toss a pizza dough one toss at a time – that is, if you toss then catch – your hands should move in a helical fashion, like they are moving along a spiral, a curved line laid along a cylinder," Associate Professor Friend said.

"If you are tossing the pizza continuously, not stopping to catch it and stop every time, then your hands should move in circles."

The model could help researchers to design the next generation of standing wave ultrasonic motors (SWUMs), which operate on similar principles as pizza tossing.

The tiny motors have the potential to be used for minimally invasive neuro-microsurgery. In these electric motors, the fixed component, the stator, is made to vibrate ultrasonically, and this causes the moveable part, the disc-like rotor, to be "tossed" – both rotated and lifted.

"The SWUM works exactly like a pizza chef tossing dough, with the hands representing the vibrating stator of the SWUM and the dough representing the rotor. The difference is only in the details: a chef tosses dough, about once a second, a few tens of centimetres into the air. A SWUM tosses the rotor a few million times a second into the air," Associate Professor Friend said.

He said scientists around the world have been using trial and error to make variations of the SWUMs, and while they might have worked, there had not been a thorough understanding of the forces involved until now.

"Some of the maths are a bit tricky," Dr Friend said. "The most puzzling questions with SWUMs are answered in this study. We think that further investigation of the work will prove fruitful for the understanding and design of SWUMs."

The scientists are the same principals who recently developed the world's smallest useful motor, only a quarter of a millimetre wide, that could be used in the propulsion system of miniature machines to swim through the bloodstream to inaccessible places, potentially revolutionising future surgical procedures.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monash University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K.-C. Liu, J. Friend and L. Yeo. The behavior of bouncing disks and pizza tossing. EPL (Europhysics Letters), 2009; 85 (6): 60002 DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/85/60002

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Pizza Tossing Art Unlocks Secrets Of Tiny Motors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427102237.htm>.
Monash University. (2009, April 28). Pizza Tossing Art Unlocks Secrets Of Tiny Motors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427102237.htm
Monash University. "Pizza Tossing Art Unlocks Secrets Of Tiny Motors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427102237.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins