Come for the cat video, stay for the science…

This showed up in my Facebook feed the other day.

As I watched this video about six or seven times in a row, you know I couldn’t help but consider the physics behind the poor kitty’s plight. We’ve discussed how an object only changes its motion (starts moving, stops moving, changes speed, changes direction) if an overall force acts on it. When a cat jumps off the floor, what’s applying the force that allows her to start moving upward?

Oddly enough, the floor is.

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SiS (Super!) Quickie: Happy Birthday, Erwin Schrödinger!

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who is best known (in popular culture, at least) for his cat-based thought experiment.

The cover of one of my favorite college textbooks paid homage to this experiment: the front cover featured a drawing of a living cat, while the back cover featured a drawing of the same cat after it…let’s pretend it just fell asleep.

Who says physicists don’t have a sense of humor?