Flutterby™! : Cow tipping: 231%?

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Cow tipping: 231%?

2005-11-09 20:30:31.57206+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Dang it, next thing you know these academics are going to go telling people about prop wash, smoke shifters, and snarks: University of British Columbia researchers Margo Lillie and Tracy Boechler claim that "cow tipping" is impossible, at least when attempted by one person:

More specifically, "a cow of 1.45 metres in height pushed at an angle of 23.4 degrees relative to the ground would require 2,910 Newtons of force, equivalent to 4.43 people," according to Boechler.

Dr Lillie elaborated: "The static physics of the issue say two people might be able to tip a cow. But the cow would have to be tipped quickly — the cow’s centre of mass would have to be pushed over its hoof before the cow could react."

Clearly their model was more complex than simply considering a spherical cow of uniform density.

[ related topics: Cool Science Nature and environment Biology ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-09 20:53:44.415648+00 by: meuon

I only got one thing to say: Where can we find some cows?

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-09 21:15:45.179528+00 by: Dan Lyke

We could go look at Sacred Cow Tipping for hints...

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-10 00:14:55.115274+00 by: Dan Lyke

Wait, I just ran the numbers. That's only 650 lbs. A 165 lb human running at 21 MPH would generate that much force if they could transfer all of their energy to the cow in less than 4 feet. Okay, 21MPH is (darned) fast for a human, but 4 feet is also generous, and for a drunk frat boy, 165 lbs isn't all that heavy, either.

This might require some research into techniques and methods.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-10 13:34:06.26112+00 by: DaveP

It's just barely possible if you both move the fulcrum (reducing the angle needed) and get the startled cow to help you with the physics. Keeping the far-side feet from moving away from you (or the cow from jumping forward or backward so your charging linebacker misses entirely) is critical. Tipping calves is actually pretty easy, though. I've "tipped" a calf solo, but it was more like a wrestling takedown. In any case, getting close to them the second time becomes much trickier. Cows are dumb, but once you've riled up the herd...