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James' giant peach would actually need 2,425,907 seagulls

by fourier jr
Tags: giant, james, peach, seagulls
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fourier jr
Jan8-13, 01:54 PM
P: 948
I remember reading in Men of Math that Euler used to do stuff like this, like when he read about an anchor in the Aenid

Roald Dahl may famously have written that it took 501 seagulls to help James fly the Giant Peach but a group of physics students have concluded that the actual figure would be a lot more.

Calculations by Emily Jane Watkinson, Maria-Theresia Walach, Daniel Staab and Zach Rogerson show a total of 2,425,907 seagulls would be needed to lift the peach into the air.

The University of Leicester fourth year physics students were inspired to use the childhood tale, which has delighted youngsters across the world since it was first published in the 1960s, as the basis for a scientific paper.

The story sees a young boy named James embarking on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean on a magical peach, the size of a small house.
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Jan8-13, 05:33 PM
P: 772
I'm saddened that such an estimate was given to 7 significant figures. Fourth-year physics students should know better.
Jan8-13, 07:51 PM
P: 188
I'm still wondering about the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.

African or European?


I'll let myself out ..

Jan8-13, 08:01 PM
PhizKid's Avatar
P: 476
James' giant peach would actually need 2,425,907 seagulls

Maybe their calculation of a "small house" was small to today's standards, and not by 60s standards
Jan9-13, 04:07 AM
P: 570
The Giant Peach idea was stolen from a popular Japanese legend.

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