Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

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A New Spin On The Old Skim

Skimming stones is no idle pastime – it’s hard science. That’s the lesson French physicist Lyderic Bocquet passed on to his eight-year-old son.


Stone skipping = hard science? Read on!

The Lyon University preofessor came up with a formula that calculates the speed, spin and shape necessary for an optimal skim of a stone. You probably know that flat rocks work best and the faster the stone is travelling, the more times it will bounce. But did you ever consider that spinning creates a gyroscopic effect that prevents the stone from wobbling? Bocquet determined that to bounce at least once, the stone has to travel at least 1 kilometre per hour.

This is the world record set in Texas in 1992 by Jerdone Coleman-McGhee:
No. Of Times His Stone Skipped: 38 times
Diameter Of The Stone Spinned: 10 centimetres
Travelling Speed: 40 kilometres per hour
Revolutions Per Second: 14

This is really, erm, impressive.

*NOTE: Quoted from Reader’s Digest Asia July 04 issue.

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