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To book tickets:
Ann Linfield01225 386998

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Alison Jones01225 386986
07891 790087

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Dr Hugh Hunt launches a boomerang to explain the science of spinning
Dr Hugh Hunt launches a boomerang to explain the science of spinning

Press Release - 06 March 2009

Public lecture: Boomerangs put science in a spin

A collection of boomerangs will help to explain the science behind things that spin, in a free public lecture to celebrate National Science & Engineering Week (Wednesday 11 March).

How does a falling cat always manage to land on its feet? Why doesn’t a rolling wheel fall over? How can the Hubble Space Telescope turn around in space?

Dr Hugh Hunt from the University of Cambridge will use his impressive collection of boomerangs to answer these questions, plus explain why top-spin in tennis is so effective and what ice-skaters do to spin so fast.

Dr Hunt said: “We’ll look closely at the common threads that link all spinning things, and that means we’ll have to talk about gyroscopes. Don’t worry, there won’t be any maths. Everything will be demonstrated live with lots of toys and videos. And we’ll even throw a few indoor boomerangs – hoping not to break any windows!”

Dr Hunt lectures in engineering and uses his boomerang collection to inspire students in the study of dynamics and mechanics. He grew up in Australia but had never thrown a boomerang until he came to the UK.

National Science Week runs from 6-15 March and gives people of all ages the chance to take part in science, engineering and technology through events, activities and lectures.

The University is also hosting the annual Bath Taps into Science fair (13-14 March), a two-day event which gives more than 700 school children and young people from the Bath area an introduction to science through slime, robots, bubbles and hands-on games and experiments.

The Science in a Spin lecture will be held on Wednesday 11 March in the University Hall at 7pm. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. Please call Ann Linfield on 01225 386998 or email

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