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Engineering: Using Newton's Laws of Motion

Author(s): Gregory L. Vogt, EdD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, Michael T. Vu, MS, and Nancy P. Moreno, PhD.

How to Throw a Boomerang

The proper way to throw a boomerang is in a vertical plane, tossed slightly upward and with a rapid spin. The spin produces a gyroscopic effect that keeps the boomerang moving along its plane without flipping and fluttering. As the boomerang travels forward, the rapid spinning of its wing tips produces a strong lifting force. Because the boomerang is oriented vertically, the lift pushes sideways, causing the boomerang to turn and return to the thrower. 

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Funded by the following grant(s)

National Science Foundation

Grant Number: DRL-1028771