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Lifting a car with two phone books

Date:
January 8, 2016
Source:
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
Summary:
Astonishingly, it turns out to be practically impossible to separate two interleaved phone books by pulling on their spines, however much force is applied. It is even possible to suspend a car from them.
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Credit: © Frédéric Restagno et Christophe Poulard

Astonishingly, it turns out to be practically impossible to separate two interleaved phone books by pulling on their spines, however much force is applied. It is even possible to suspend a car from them.

Using a model that reproduces the traction and friction forces involved, researchers at the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud), Laboratoire Gulliver (CNRS/ESPCI ParisTech), Laboratoire de Génie des Procédés Papetiers (CNRS/Grenoble INP) and McMaster University in Canada have shown that when the spines of the interleaved phonebooks are pulled on vertically, part of the vertical force is converted into a horizontal force that presses on the sheets. The pages then remain stuck together due to friction.

The work, which began as a result of a challenge on the program "On n'est pas que des cobayes" on the France 5 TV channel, will be published in 7 January 2016 in the journal Physical Review Letters, and is already available on ArXiv (http://arxiv.org/abs/1508.03290).


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Materials provided by Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Héctor Alarcón, Thomas Salez, Christophe Poulard, Jean-Francis Bloch, Élie Raphaël, Kari Dalnoki-Veress, and Frédéric Restagno. Self-Amplification of Solid Friction in Interleaved Assemblies. Phys. Rev. Lett., Published 7 January 2016 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.015502

Cite This Page:

Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). "Lifting a car with two phone books." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160108084429.htm>.
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). (2016, January 8). Lifting a car with two phone books. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 25, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160108084429.htm
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). "Lifting a car with two phone books." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160108084429.htm (accessed September 25, 2016).