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Marker lid launching

  1. Jan 8, 2008 #1
    If you press your first three fingers evenly across a Crayola brand marker lid as hard as you can on a smooth surface, you can make it fly all the way across the room. I was wondering what causes it to take flight. I'm pretty sure its rotation has something to do with the way it floats through the air. But is the rotation actually creating the lift-off, or is it really just ricocheting of the floor.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 8, 2008 #2


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    You mean why it doesn't go straight across the table, but jumps into the air?

    I suspect that the pressure on the cap flattens it. Release causes the cap to rebound, which would cause it to leap up.

    If you want to prove that the cause is in the launch and not in the flight, do the same thing up against a vertical surface. The cap won't be able to fly, but I'll bet it will still leap straight up a foot or two.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2008
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