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  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 6 months ago
    The people who tore them in half baked the phone book in the oven first.

    Alien technology? It's the little notebook you carry in your pocket against the sure and certain failure of electronics. We used to call it the Lead One Point One - printer included.
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  • Posted by ohiocrossroads 5 years, 6 months ago
    I saw the episode on Mythbusters where they experimented with phone books. Great stuff. I think there may also be some kind of pressure effects going on that was not mentioned in the article. If the air between the pages gets squeezed out so the pressure is below atmosperic, that would increase the amount of frictional force between the pages.

    And also, is there some kind of electrostatic effect that contributes? We've all seen static cling when we take our clothes out of the dryer.
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  • Posted by InfamousEric 5 years, 6 months ago
    The amount of surface area that the interleaved pages have, create an abundance of surface tension & friction.

    Which in turn exceeds a persons ability to exert enough force to separate them.
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  • Posted by $ Technocracy 5 years, 6 months ago
    It also didn't appear that they considered the materials directly. They did their test with specially prepared test books, did not say that the materials of those books were equivalent to a phone book.

    If you run your hand over a phone book page, there is very much a detectable texture. The surface is more "saw toothed" than writing paper. Writing paper is finished smoother than phone book paper. That rougher surface means more microscopic points of contact, meaning even more friction holding them together against a horizontal pull.
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    • Posted by blackswan 5 years, 6 months ago
      Have you tried this test with other types of paper?
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      • Posted by $ Technocracy 5 years, 6 months ago
        No.

        Just pointing out some factors that were not mentioned in the study. Paper has a natural saw tooth texture, how you finish it determines how rough. Roughness increases friction.

        That roughness is what enables you to write easily on it. And conversely the "glossier" the paper the tougher to write on since it doesn't pull ink/graphite from your pen/pencil.
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