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Toy Blocks and Rotational PhysicsThe Physics Teacher
AbstractHave you ever observed a child playing with toy blocks? A favorite game is to build towers and then make them topple like falling trees. To the eye of a trained physicist this should immediately look like an example of the physics of “falling chimneys,” when tall structures bend and break in mid-air while falling to the ground. The game played with toy blocks can actually reproduce well what is usually seen in photographs of falling towers, such as the one that appeared on the cover of the September 1976 issue of The Physics Teacher.1 In this paper we describe how we performed and analyzed these simple but interesting experiments with toy blocks.
Citation InformationG. Varieschi and I. Jully, “Toy blocks and rotational physics,” The Physics Teacher, Vol. 43 (6), 360-362, September 2005.