The Physics of Cats and Buttered Toast

Lesezeit etwa 3 Minuten

Question

If you dropped a cat with a piece of buttered toast tied to its back (butter side up of course) which way up would it land?

Answer

Well Acording to Newtons third law, a force acting upon an object will exert an equal but opposite force on the adjacent object. The cat exerts a force say C on the toast, which in mathematical notation is

F_t=-C\cdot g

where C is the Mass of cat.

Acording to Murphys law of probabilaty, any event in a constant time frame is said to happen to the inverse of the most preferable. In this case, we have only two possible cases,

  • P(T) toast T lands buttered side up or
  • P(T_i)=1-P(T) (Inverse probability of toast) landing downward.

But from our previous metion of Murphys Law, we can clealy see that

  • P(T) = 0 (or 0% of it happening) and
  • P(T) = 1 (or 100% of it happening).

Thus this is an equilibrium problem as there are two forces acting in two different directions namely T and C. If the air resistance is taken into consideration, and we have that C = T then if the toast is placed only slightly to the side of the center of gravity of the cat then we have a non-equilibral condition. So this then implies a rotational tourqe (call it t for short). The t can be calculated by applying the tangental force aplied multiplied by the cross product of the radius r of the cat to the toast. So

t=\cos{\theta}\cdot r\cdot f

where f is the aplied force.

But this aplied force is quite weak as it's only reliant on air resistance. But this then presents us with another problem. We have a conflict of laws of phyics and philosophy (ie. Murphy vs Newton). Einstein in his thesis on general relativety however showed that Newton's III law does not always aply to objects nearing the speed of light. So the only conclution that we can draw is that the cat with the toast strapped to its back will rotate at near light speeds. However, the closer one gets to the center of the cat the faster the cat will have to spin. So the cat will not only spin, but be completely mangled in the process by the fact that it's insides spin faster than it's skin and outer flesh!

The law that cat's also land on there feet is also going to play a part in this discusion. When released, the two forces C and T will simulaniously act opon one another, causing the cat and the toast to iether shoot upwards indefenetly increasing in speed as gravity decreaces the further one is away from earth or hover or plummet downwards. The latter seems the most feesable, with a difference however that it will not stop. The immence rotations of the cat and toast will generate enormous amounts of heat as it comes into contact with the ground through friction and tunnel downwards eventuall reaching the center of the earth. By that time the cat's legs wil have been eroded away and the butter will be off the toast and thus the laws which we first used do not apply any more. So to cat will stop spinning somewhere in the earths crust.

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