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Question

How does a boomerang work?
Asked by: Chantelle Langlois

Answer

Most boomerangs that are designed to return to the thrower are made of two wings brought together with a slight twist at the junction. The wing design (like an airplane wing) causes the necessary lift to make the boomerang sail through the air. The return is caused by the slight variation in wind speed between the two wing pieces. The result is a constant force to either the left or the right which makes the boomerang turn as it moves through the air.

That's the simple answer, but if you would like more details (including some interesting demonstrations) you might want to check out the 'How Stuff Works' website:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/boomerang1.htm
Answered by: Brent Nelson, M.A. Physics, Ph.D. Student, UC Berkeley


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