How cats obey the laws of physics

The science of adorable kitties is actually really fascinating, and more than a bit weird, says Marc Abrams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research and the man behind the Ig Nobel prizes. In an article at The Guardian, he writes about some great moments in cat physics research.

In 1969, TR Kane and MP Scher of Stanford University, in California, published a monograph called A Dynamical Explanation of the Falling Cat Phenomenon. It remains one of the few studies about cats ever published in the International Journal of Solids and Structures.

Kane and Scher neither lifted nor dropped a single cat. Instead, they created a mathematical abstraction of a cat: two imaginary cylinder-like chunks, joined at a single point so the parts could (as with a feline spine) bend, but not twist. When they used a computer to plot the theoretical bendings of this theoretical falling chunky-cat, the motions resembled what they saw in old photographs of an actual falling cat. They conclude that their theory "explains the phenomenon under consideration".

Via The Modern Scientist

Image: I Can Has Cheezeburger, via Lirpa Perdida