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

Wishbone problem

  1. Oct 16, 2008 #1

    I was wondering what the physics are behind why a turkey wishbone breaks in just one spot of the bone when one person is pulling from either side of the wishbone trying to break it?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2008 #2
    Re: Wishbone

    Do you mean why it breaks in one spot rather than two spots?

    If so, that happens because the wishbone is not uniform in strength and size. Once the strength of the wishbone is exceeded in one spot, it will break there. Any stresses due to bending will be relieved throughout the rest of the bone once it is in two pieces (it is no longer being bent once it breaks).

    If you are asking how you get an advantage to get the big piece of the wishbone, I suppose the most reliable way is to examine the wishbone before trying to break it. Stick with whichever side appears to be thickest/strongest.:biggrin:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook