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Author Topic: Will a fly be killed leaving a fast moving car?  (Read 3032 times)

Atiya Mosam

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Will a fly be killed leaving a fast moving car?
« on: 01/03/2011 13:30:03 »
Atiya Mosam  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Evening

I am looking to settle an argument my friends and I have been having.

If a car is travelling at 120kph with the windows closed and a fly in the car and someone opens a window so that the fly goes out the window, will the fly be killed at that speed or will it be able to fly away?

Thank You

Dr A Mosam

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 01/03/2011 13:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline graham.d

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Will a fly be killed leaving a fast moving car?
« Reply #1 on: 01/03/2011 15:24:29 »
My guess would be that the fly, being small, may be able to be gradually accelerated as it encounters the increasing air velocity as it moves away from the car. Even if the change from still air (inside the car) to a high speed airflow was instantaneous, I don't think the fly would necessarily be damaged; most flies are fairly tough insects and may be able to withstand the stresses until accelerated to the wind speed. If the car was going fast enough it would eventually be a problem, but I suspect the 120kph is not enough.

Anyone care to experiment?
 

Offline yor_on

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Will a fly be killed leaving a fast moving car?
« Reply #2 on: 01/03/2011 17:15:23 »
Come Fly with me?
 

Offline AlphaKozar

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Will a fly be killed leaving a fast moving car?
« Reply #3 on: 03/03/2011 07:32:20 »
Well, I think that upon leaving a car at 120kph a fly would experience negligible effects. Gravity and acceleration has less effect on objects small such as bugs (not scientifically, but because their bodies are small, they are stable. Much like if an earthquake or hurricane occurs, you should occupy the smallest room in the house). It's also like ants, they can carry objects some 50 times their weight (correct me if I'm wrong) easily, this isn't because they are super strong, but because lifting such small things like food crumbs is not difficult because their weight is tiny.

-Alex
 

Offline Murchie85

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Will a fly be killed leaving a fast moving car?
« Reply #4 on: 03/03/2011 12:27:06 »
I disagree, the fly if sitting on the dashboard for example in the car has thus been accelerated to 120kph (A speed flies are not capable of achieving for a good reason). The fly is SHIELDED by the air turbulence in the car via the wind screen, once the window opens the fly will be jerked backwards by the "nearly still" moving air relative to the car. The fly may be small, but it isn't smaller than air molecules. Although a human may withstand the turbulence due to increased bone density etc, the minute he hit the ground... well that's another story.
« Last Edit: 03/03/2011 12:29:26 by Murchie85 »
 

Offline AlphaKozar

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Will a fly be killed leaving a fast moving car?
« Reply #5 on: 04/03/2011 07:19:30 »
Well, what we must ponder upon here is what happens exactly at the time the fly leaves the closed atmosphere of the car. Anything else that happens after, is irrelevant because the fly can, well fly, and the air outside is calm. The fly would experience a few negative g's upon leaving the car, which in my opinion is not enough to kill it. It may experience a broken wing or being stunned for a moment etc, but other than that I think it should be ok. Did you know that the highest g's any man has ever experienced without being in a pressurised environment was +46 g's? Pretty crazy huh.  :)
 

Offline Bill S

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Will a fly be killed leaving a fast moving car?
« Reply #6 on: 05/03/2011 15:16:01 »
I can just imagine this setting off a wave of experiments; people driving madly popping flies out of the front windows of their cars, with back-seat passengers trying to catch them in nets to see if they are still alive.  If there is a global rise in speeding offences we will know who to blame.  ;D
 

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Will a fly be killed leaving a fast moving car?
« Reply #6 on: 05/03/2011 15:16:01 »

 

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