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University of Toronto
Scientists explore the physics of bumpy roads
August 9th, 2009
Just about any road with a loose surface - sand or gravel or snow - develops ripples that make driving a very shaky experience. A team of physicists from Canada, France and the United Kingdom have recreated this "washboard" phenomenon in the lab with surprising results: ripples appear even when the springy suspension of the car and the rolling shape of the wheel are eliminated. The discovery may smooth the way to designing improved suspension systems that eliminate the bumpy ride.
"The hopping of the wheel over the ripples turns out to be mathematically similar to skipping a stone over water," says University of Toronto physicist, Stephen Morris, a member of the research...
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Source: VerticalNews Science (2009-08-09)