Think You’re Tough? It’s Impossible To Pull Apart Interleaved Books

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People, trucks and even military tanks have tried and failed the task of pulling apart two phone books lying face up with their pages interleaved, like a shuffled deck of cards.

43t43y-min

Take two books and interleave all their pages one by one. Now try and pull them apart by their spines. Impossible, right? You may have seen this trick before: it’s used as a classic example of the extreme power of friction.

How Can Paper Be Strong Enough to Lift Two Tons? A simple trick that makes ordinary books as strong as steel has some very complicated science behind it.

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While physicists have long known that this must be due to enormous frictional forces, exactly how these forces are generated has been an enigma – until now.

VIAScience Channel
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