Forget space, forget black holes. Maths has now solved an entirely different but equally important kind of mystery: the game of Poohsticks.
A researcher at The Royal Academy of Engineering claims the key to winning the game, which involves dropping sticks in the river and seeing which one sails the fastest, lies in the type of stick you choose.
Dr Rhys Morgan’s equation PP (Perfect Poohstick) = A x I x Cd takes into consideration the cross section of the stick (A), the density (I) and a drag coeffcient (Cd).
For those of us too lazy to work this out before a race, this formula effectively tells us to choose sticks that are slightly heavy, long and have a lot of bark as this creates more drag (resistance), which makes it travel faster on the water.
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If the equation falls short of your winning strategy, the charming game inspired by Winnie The Pooh, also has a handbook detailing the best places to play.
Morgan’s enthusiasm was shared by many on social media who were clearly excited to see maths at its best.
I do totally love the thought of scientific theory being brought to a game of Pooh Sticks. Olympics next?
— Penny Vincenzi (@PennyVincenzi1) August 26, 2015
What was all that bizarre stuff about black holes, information, event horizons and Pooh sticks on @BBCr4today news this morning?
— Jez (@jazzteabeer) August 26, 2015
Who are these people who didn’t know how to win Pooh Sticks??
— Laura Brown (@MsLaura_Brown) August 26, 2015
While, many will be eager to try out this new strategy over the bank holiday weekend, the formula does not guarantee success.
And if you lose, despite your careful stick selection keep Christopher Robin’s words in mind: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”