Phone book physics

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Physicist Kari Dalnoki-Veress organized an experiment on campus with interlocking phone books and recruited students to help him demonstrate its inseparable strength.


Myth-buster fans have likely heard of the phenomenon of interlocking pages of two phonebooks and discovering that they are impossible to pull apart.

Physicist Kari Dalnoki-Veress, along with colleagues in France, have researched this enigma that has long been known, but finally have an explanation as to why it happens.

Dalnoki-Veress organized an experiment on campus with books and recruited students to help him demonstrate the strength.

What happened?

The friction created by the pulling and the angle of the pages keeps the books interlocked and inseparable.

The harder you pull, the greater the force of friction.

The application of this science can help researchers understand complex intertwined systems, such as textiles or muscle fibres.