Monday, December 12, 2005

Cow tipping myth debunked

Scientists at the University of British Columbia in Canada have investigated the physics of cow tipping and concluded that the force required to actually tip a cow means it's pretty unlikely that anyone could ever really do this.

Here's the maths...

Force = (m g cosθ b)/(a + b)

m = mass of the cow = 682 kgs
g = gravitational force = 9.81 m/s^2
θ = angle of the lever = 66 degrees
a = length of the lever above the centre of mass = 0.79m
b = length of the lever below the centre of mass = 0.79m


Force = (682 x 9.81 x cos66o x 0.79)/(0.79 + 0.79) = 1360N

1360 newtons of force requires 2.07 people to exert it, if you assume that each person weighs 67kgs and can push their own bodyweight.

A cow mooing with relief after hearing that it's unlikely she's ever going to be tipped

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Glad someone cleared that up. I've been very suspicious of it since I first heard it, especially since no-one has ever claimed a successful cow-tipping venture.

Cows, on the other hand, have a shared belief that three or four times a year, usually in the warmer months, drunk unfamiliar humans will stagger across their paddock at night shrieking and falling in cow poo, before running off when a large bored cow is mistaken for a ferocious charging bull.