You are here:

Physics/A Question on Speed


Anthony wrote at 2009-06-14 01:58:50
That is a horrible estimate and I'm sure you did not time your flick anywhere near precisely. Flick speeds are certainly MUCH faster than that!

Serketan wrote at 2013-06-17 15:03:33
It takes a lot less than half a second to perform a fingerflick. Moreover, the finger is accelerating during this time, so the first answer is more or less useless.

I flicked a dead wingless fly horizontally from an altitude of one meter, and it traveled for five meters before touching the ground. Ignoring Magnus effects, we can derive a lower bound on the maximum speed of my finger of 5.5 meters/second, or nearly 20 km/h. Since in reality the friction on the fly is significant and the collision with my finger was not fully elastic, the actual speed was probably significantly higher.

Someone should try the same experiment with a small gummyball.

akshai wrote at 2014-05-23 10:04:58
Most retarded calculation I've seen. I can do four finger flicks in one second not mentioning the time it take to bring finger back to position for next flick

Ron wrote at 2014-11-15 12:17:41
The time it takes to flick is way less than .5 - 1 second. I would estimate it is more around .1 or less. That being said I haven't recorded how long a flick takes on film, however it is definitely moving faster than .3 mph. I would think it's probably about 10 mph at least but could be closer to 20 or higher. I often flick house flies off of me when they land on my arm and it will either knock them out or kill them. If you think about a bug hitting a solid surface and dying, such as your cars windshield you think that around 20 mph is probably fast enough to kill an insect.  So, that's sort of how I base my estimation. Also, when you flick someone or get flicked, it hurts quite a bit so it is definitely moving at a decent speed.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Palash Apte


I will try and answer questions on any topic. I will not answer homework problems.


I have taught undergraduate laboratory classes while in graduate school.

Ph.D in Physics

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]