Sat, Feb 07, 2009 - Page 13 News List

WEEKEND SCIENCE: Boomerang aerodynamics 回力標的空氣動力學原理

Welcome to Weekend Science! Every Saturday we’re going to guide you through some cool experiments that you can do at home. It’s a good idea for you to keep a record of what you do in a Science Journal. That way you can record what you learn, compare results and maybe use them to design new experiments! Remember to always ask a grown-up’s permission before trying out an experiment.



Modern boomerangs are usually used as toys or sports equipment, but their original use was much more important. A carefully thrown boomerang will return to its thrower, which made it a great hunting tool for early civilizations. Hunters used boomerangs in two ways — either to scare birds out of trees and into nets, or to inflict a direct strike on a larger animal. Due to their range and accuracy, it’s highly likely that boomerangs were also used in combat with other humans. (JOHN PHILLIPS, STAFF WRITER)

In today’s experiment you will make a boomerang and learn about the aerodynamics that give boomerangs their special properties.

What you will need: three ice pop sticks, some card and some putty-like adhesive.






Step 1: Roll the adhesive into three balls about the size of a pea and stick one about 2cm from the top of each ice pop stick.

Step 2: Take one of the sticks (stick A) and place it on the table so the adhesive is face up. Next, take another stick (stick B) and attach it to stick A, with the adhesive facing down.

Step 3: Take stick C and attach it so that it’s above stick A and below stick B. There should be an equilateral triangle in the middle where the sticks intersect.

Step 4: Cut the card into three equally sized rectangles, about 3cm x 5cm. Use a small amount of adhesive to attach the card to the ends of the sticks.

Step 5: The boomerang is finished! Throw it and watch it return to you.




1. hunting n.

狩獵 (shou4 lie4)

2. civilization n.

文明 (wen2 ming2)

3. accuracy n.

準確性 (zhun3 que4 xing4)

4. adhesive n.

黏著劑 (nian2 zhuo2 ji4)

5. tip v.i./v.t.

使翻倒 (shi3 fan1 dao3)

6. owner n.

所有人 (suo2 you3 ren2)






A boomerang relies on complex aerodynamics and something called gyroscopic precession to make its return flight. The wings are all at different angles, which means air travels over them at different speeds. The air tries to tip the boomerang over, which changes its angle of flight and sends it back to its owner.




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