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 27, 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 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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