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Can you lift a car using two interleaved phone books?

Posted Dec 5th 2012 7:59PM

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Friction, good people, is a wonderfully powerful force. It crops up in the automotive word all the time, be it associated with tires, brakes and engine internals, or even the micro-tug of a rubberized surface against the tips of your fingers. And the video seen here is certainly all about friction – and it involves a vehicle – but not in any of the straightforward ways we've just dashed off.

No, the friction that makes this video so wild is that which is created by thousands of very thin sheets of paper from a telephone book, intentionally interwoven, when a force is used to try to pull them apart. You might guess that this trick is hard to do with your own two hands, but when you start to understand that this video involves a car (a Rover 45), a pretty large crane and a set of phone books, well... you should watch.

By the way, if you're as up on your geek-culture as we are, you'll certainly recognize the bones of this trick from an episode of MythBusters. Check out the second bonus video for another great set of friction demonstrations. Science, man!







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