## Equation predicts ponytail shape

String theory: Hair has vexed scientists and artists for centuries. (Credit: Tim Hornyak) Does your coif suffer from orientational disorder? Have you checked the gravitational effects on your locks lately? Can you solve the differential equation in your beehive? Well, scientists now can. Pioneering British researchers have succeeded in formulating an equation that unravels the deep physics mysteries of that great frontier of science, human ponytails. In a study that screams Ig Nobel Prize, the researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Warwick, and Unilever published a hirsute equation that for the first time describes how hairs hang together and predicts the form of a ponytail. "We identify the balance of forces in various regions of the ponytail, extract a remarkably simple equation of state from laboratory measurements of human ponytails, and relate the pressure to the measured random curvatures of individual hairs," Raymond Goldstein, Robin Ball, and Patrick Warren write in Physic

### Equation predicts ponytail shape

Physicists have come up with an equation that predicts the shape of a ponytail.

**Mon 13 Feb 12** from BBC News

### Rapunzel, Leonardo and the physics of the ponytail

(PhysOrg.com) -- New research provides the first mathematical understanding of the shape of a ponytail and could have implications for the textile industry, computer animation and personal care ...

**Mon 13 Feb 12** from Phys.org

Rapunzel, Leonardo and the physics of the ponytail, Tue 14 Feb 12 from Science Blog

### Rapunzel number solves hair conundrum

CURLY PROBLEM: British scientists may have cracked a problem that has perplexed humanity since Leonardo da Vinci pondered it 500 years ago.

**Sun 12 Feb 12** from ABC Science

### ScienceShot: The Physics of Ponytails

Equation explains why hair grows differently on each person

**Sat 11 Feb 12** from Science Now

### Physicists Explain the Shape of Perfect Ponytails

Physicists in the U.K. have derived a simple math formula that explains the shapes of ponytails, accounting for the balance between gravity and hair springiness.

**Tue 14 Feb 12** from Livescience

### Synopsis: Ponytail physics

A new theoretical model of hair explains how the curliness and elasticity of hair fibers produce the characteristic shape of a ponytail. Published Mon Feb 13, 2012

**Mon 13 Feb 12** from APS Physics

### Solved! The mysterious math of ponytails

String theory: Hair has vexed scientists and artists for centuries. (Credit: Tim Hornyak) Does your coif suffer from orientational disorder? Have you checked the gravitational effects on your ...

**Tue 14 Feb 12** from CNET Crave

### Physics of the fringe

**Mon 13 Feb 12** from Physicsworld Blog

### Researchers Crack The Ponytail Code

British scientists reported Friday they have cracked the mathematical conundrum behind the shape of hair that has perplexed humanity since Leonardo da Vinci first pondered it some 500 years ...

**Mon 13 Feb 12** from RedOrbit

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