I was always a fan of Robert Munsch’s kids books, but I think my all-time favorite was Stephanie’s Ponytail (from which I have adopted the title of this blog, and am proud to quote often its mantra of self-confidence).
Ponytails are awesome. They’re easy. They’re cute. They’re safe.
But have you ever thought of the physics of ponytails?
That’s right. The “balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail” has been calculated by a US/UK team of four dear gentlemen who have probably had much more opportunity to observe ponytails than wear them.
Their curiosity was piqued by the way a jogger’s ponytail swings from side to side, even while her head is moving only up and down. The equation they came up with has far greater implications than just satisfying that tidbit of curiosity, however.
Enter, the 2012 Physics Ig Nobel Prize-winning "Ponytail Shape Equation.”