The science behind brooms standing up, as explained by a Fresno State lecturer

Local News
February 07 2021 03:30 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Video after video, the broom challenge swept social media on Monday with many people believing Feb. 10 was the only day a broom could stand on its own.

It all started with a tweet claiming NASA said Feb. 10 was the only day a broom could do this due to the gravitational pull.

Quickly afterwards, people all over the nation took to social media to try it themselves, including celebrities.

But NASA quickly debunked it, posting a tweet Tuesday with astronaut Alvin Drew and scientist Sarah Noble demonstrating that a broom can stand on Feb. 11 as well as every other day.

“It’s just physics,” Drew said in the video.

We spoke with Fresno State Director of Physics Outreach Don Williams who explained the science.

“As long as there’s no wind out there, I can do this all day long. And the reason is every object has a center of mass,” Williams said.

He said in order for an object to be stable on a flat surface, the center of mass has to be above the base.

“We can balance the broom and roughly get the center of mass,” he said as he demonstrated how it works. “As long as I take the bristles and aim straight up and get the base right there, the center of mass is above the base.”

So for those who thought it only worked Feb. 10, sorry to disappoint.

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