Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How does a boomerang behave in empty space and gravity?

  1. Oct 15, 2003 #1
    If a space ship throws a boomerang in the vacuum of the space but with some gravity from earth. Will it have the same trayectory than if you throw a stone of equal mass than the boomerang with equal force?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yup. There are no areodynamic forces that would make the stone and boomerang's trajectories any different.

    - Warren
  4. Oct 15, 2003 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    As Rolf Harris sang: "My bommerang won't come back".
  5. Oct 16, 2003 #4
    What makes a boomerang return?
  6. Oct 16, 2003 #5
    You might post a new thread on this, but it has to do with the wind and their shape.
  7. Oct 16, 2003 #6
    Asymmetrical design (it's a bit crook one way).
  8. Oct 16, 2003 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yes, it is asymmetry that makes them return, but not the asymmetry of their crooked design. Rather, it is asymmetrical lift. Like the rotary wing of a helicopter, when the boomerang is rotating one side (the side going into the wind) generates more lift than the other. This side rises up, causing the entire device to "bank". What aviators refer to as "the horizontal component of lift" then makes it turn. Without an atmosphere, the boomerang would just fly straight along a ballistic trajectory.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2003
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: How does a boomerang behave in empty space and gravity?
  1. How does gravity work? (Replies: 6)

  2. Empty Space (Replies: 8)

  3. Does empty space exist (Replies: 5)