Tumbling toast, Murphy's Law and the fundamental constants

  title={Tumbling toast, Murphy's Law and the fundamental constants},
  author={Robert Matthews},
  journal={European Journal of Physics},
  • R. Matthews
  • Published 18 July 1995
  • Physics
  • European Journal of Physics
We investigate the dynamics of toast tumbling from a table to the floor. Popular opinion is that the final state is usually butter-side down, and constitutes prima facie evidence of Murphy's Law ('If it can go wrong, it will'). The orthodox view, in contrast, is that the phenomenon is essentially random, with a 50/50 split of possible outcomes. We show that toast does indeed have an inherent tendency to land butter-side down for a wide range of conditions. Furthermore, we show that this outcome… 

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