Video: Phone book physics

January 15, 2016, McMaster University

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  keeps the books interlocked and inseparable.

The harder you pull, the greater the force of .

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

Explore further: Researchers explain why it's nearly impossible to separate two interleaved phonebooks

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