Dynamics of Caber Toss


This was my final project for my first-year fall semester Integrated Course Block (ICB) class at Olin. 
Fall semester ICB is Olin's innovative and constantly evolving introduction to calculus and mechanical physics that emphasizes numerical simulation, rigorous analysis, and applications of techniques to a wide variety of fields.


Giulia Fanti, Olin College '10


Caber tossing is a Scottish athletic event in which participants flip a telephone-pole sized log in the air. For a throw to be successful, the caber must fully flip end over end. In this paper, we develop a mathematical model of the event and investigate the optimization of human parameters (running acceleration and lifting force) that yield a successful toss with minimal energy expenditure. Our findings suggest that higher initial running accelerations reduce the total energy necessary to successfully flip a caber.


PDF available for viewing and download below.
Mike Hughes,
Jan 13, 2009, 11:10 AM