Leaping Hoops

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Some water-walking insects are able to leap off a watery interface. One way to model these creatures is with elastic hoops, which can also propel themselves off the water’s surface. In this video, researchers explore some of the factors that affect the jump, like hoop geometry, material, and hydrophobic coatings. Wider hoops jump better than thinner ones because they can store more elastic energy. Hydrophobic hoops also leap higher, because less energy gets wasted in splash creation. Since most water-walking insects have hydrophobic legs already, that’s a bonus for jumping off the surface! (Image, video, and research credit: H. Jeong et al.)

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