Is it true that toast always lands butter side down?

Imagine yourself in the morning, blurry eyed and hungry for the toast that has just popped up from your toaster. As you sit at your kitchen table and butter the warm toast you absent-mindedly reach for the Marmite, and oh no disaster, the toast has fallen to the floor – butter side down! If you’re lucky you manage to rescue your toast before the dog eats it, but why does it land butter side down?

It all depends on how you dropped it, from where you dropped it and how big your slice of toast actually is. All of these factors contribute to the butter side up or butter side down landing position.

In our typical early morning scenario, the toast slips off the side of the table and is given a slight rotation as it starts to fall. As most kitchen tables and work surfaces are about waist height, the toast only manages half a rotation before it hits the floor, butter side down. So, if you want to have your toast landing butter side up, you’d better build your work surfaces twice as high or make smaller slices so that they have time to complete the rotation.

There is another way to avoid carpet fluff on your buttered toast and that’s to press hard with your knife whilst buttering to create a curved piece of toast. If this piece falls then it more often than not lands butter side up because of its shape. But then, do you really want curvy toast for breakfast?

Find related websites about tumbling toast with physics.org

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