Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physics students disprove children's author Roald Dahl's peach calculation

Date:
January 8, 2013
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
Four students have calculated that it would take 2,425,907 seagulls, rather than the 501 described in Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, to airlift the giant peach across the Atlantic Ocean.

Researchers have calculated that it would take 2,425,907 seagulls, rather than the 501 described in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, to airlift the giant peach across the Atlantic Ocean.
Credit: M.studio / Fotolia

Four students from the University of Leicester Department of Physics and Astronomy have calculated that it would take 2,425,907 seagulls, rather than the 501 described in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, to airlift the giant peach across the Atlantic Ocean.

Related Articles


The students used the famous novel from the 1960s and Henry Selick's 1996 film adaptation to determine the buoyancy of the giant peach. The physics of aircraft was later applied to calculate the number of seagulls it would have taken for the giant peach to be lifted.

The research was conducted by Emily Jane Watkinson, Maria-Theresia Walach, Daniel Staab and Zach Rogerson and published in the Journal of Physics Special Topics. The project allowed the students to apply real principles of Physics to an imaginative topic and gain experience writing professional research articles that are of publishing standard.

Course leader Dr Mervyn Roy, a lecturer at the University's Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: "A lot of the papers published in the Journal are on subjects that are amusing, topical, or a bit off-the-wall. Our fourth years are nothing if not creative! But, to be a research physicist -- in industry or academia -- you need to show some imagination, to think outside the box, and this is certainly something that the module allows our students to practice.

"Most of our masters students hope to go on to careers in research where a lot of their time will be taken up with scientific publishing -- writing and submitting papers, and writing and responding to referee reports.

"This is another area where the module really helps. Because Physics Special Topics is run exactly like a professional journal, the students get the chance to develop all the skills they will need when dealing with high profile journals later on in life."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. E J Watkinson, M Walach, D Staab, Z Rogerson. P2_1 James’ Giant Peach Transport across the Atlantic. Journal of Physics Special Topics, October 30, 2012 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Physics students disprove children's author Roald Dahl's peach calculation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108084142.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2013, January 8). Physics students disprove children's author Roald Dahl's peach calculation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108084142.htm
University of Leicester. "Physics students disprove children's author Roald Dahl's peach calculation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108084142.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British 'Bio-Bus' Is Powered By Human Waste

British 'Bio-Bus' Is Powered By Human Waste

Buzz60 (Nov. 21, 2014) British company GENeco debuted what its calling the Bio-Bus, a bus fueled entirely by biomethane gas produced from food scraps and sewage. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
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