You will be pleased to note that multiple physicists are at work on the problem of why a piece of falling toast tends to land with the butter side down.

12 Responses to “A toast to physics”

  1. Shayne Gryn says:

    Jay Ingram wrote about this in his book “The Velocity Of Honey”.

  2. Dr Evil says:

    The Mythbusters did a pretty convincing test on this (even including a toast nudging machine)  and pronounced it busted,  http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/toast-fall-buttered-side-down.htm 

    • oasisob1 says:

      When federal grants are on the line, already knowing the answer to a question is irrelevant.

    • Funk Daddy says:

      That was a convincing test? 

      How often to you dine on a 30 foot precipice? 

      I proclaim their test is busted, for foregoing a replication of the actual circumstance from which the myth arose.

      Watch the video, read the short paper associated with this posting, you will find it convincing, when buttered toast, which most of us carry by the edge and set buttered side UP, will land face down most every time when dropped from or slid off the edge of a table, or the waist or chest, where most carry a plate.

      Robert Matthews convincingly examined the ACTUAL myth, not the Mythbuster writers attempt to make it dangerous or sexy or robotic. 

      Mythbusters FAIL.

      (edit – although, because he did not use actual butter I still demand a recount.)

  3. baronsamedi says:

    Samedi’s Law of No Exceptions to Murphy’s Law: If the toast doesn’t fall on the butter side, then some unattended and even worse consequence will be brought about as a result.

  4. Funk Daddy says:

    Yeah this whole paper is flawed. You can see that is not butter he is using.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwIfBSbNQCs

  5. haraldgaede says:

    I was led to believe that the chance of the bread falling butter side down was directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

  6. I hope you’re aware of the seminal work on this matter by David S. Cohen, et al. Mr Cohen was later forced to flee into exile from mathematics to Hollywood and change his name to David X. Cohen, where he co-created Futurama. (All true except the fleeing part.)

  7. mpb says:

    In England this is the jambootie law, because the jam filled cookie (biscuit) always falls to the floor jam side first. Testing confirms! Back off the dip, George Costanza My cousins even had wall paper illustrating this.

  8. Jonathan Roberts says:

    Did they check the accompanying question of what would happen if you strapped a piece of buttered toast to the back of a cat, to see which law is stronger?

  9. Pedro Romero says:

    As I posted in the original blog, we should include the definitive work on the bread tumbling problem from a general relativity standpoint:

    “On the einstein-murphy interaction,” by A. Held, P. Yodzis, General Relativity and Gravitation, September 1981, Volume 13, Issue 9, pp 873-882.

    You can get the full paper here:
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00764273?LI=true

  10. PrairieLynn says:

    Quite a while ago I saw Bill Nye the Science Guy do a pretty definitive experiment with bread and jam on his TV show. He concluded that the height of the counter or table was the significant variable after drops from a step ladder twice the counter height consistently landed jam side up. I couldn’t find a video, perhaps it has been discredited by creationists.

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