Snap! And Just Like That!
Finger snapping is one of the fastest things the human body can do. Researchers studying the physics of finger snapping have learned that friction plays an intricately important role in the process. Such research could lead to the design of prosthetics that mimic the broad functionality of the human hand and the promise of bioinspired robots. Learn more at NSF's "The Discovery Files."
Credit: National Science Foundation
Snap! And Just Like That!
Hi! I'm Mo Barrow with The Discovery Files, from NSF -- the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Ever snap your fingers to upbeat music? No wonder! Finger snapping is one of the fastest things the human body can do!
Get this! A typical finger snap takes only seven milliseconds, more than twenty times faster than the blink of an eye.
And finger snapping is even faster than the arm of a major league baseball pitcher. This motion is measured by what researchers call "rotational acceleration."
Inspired by the infamous finger snap of the villain "Thanos" in the "Infinity War" edition of Marvel's "Avengers" movie series, a team of NSF-supported researchers at Georgia Tech and Harvey Mudd College have studied the physics of finger snapping.
They learned that friction plays an intricately important role in the process.
Why is this research important? It could lead to the design of prosthetics that mimic the broad functionality of the human hand. It also offers promise in creation of bioinspired robots!
And just like that! You learned something new!
Discover how the U.S. National Science Foundation is advancing research at nsf.gov.
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