How Fast Should a Wet Dog Shake to Get Dry?

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Drying speed for Fido

Andrew Dickerson of the Georgia Institute of Technology tested how a Labrador Retriever moves when it is trying to dry itself. They discovered that the dog oscillated its skin at 4.3 Hz and then extrapolated a mathematical model for furry animals in general:

They reasoned that the water is bound to the dog by surface tension between the liquid and the hair. When the dog shakes, centripetal forces pull the water away. So for the water to be ejected from the fur, the centripetal force has to exceed the surface tension.

This model leads to an interesting prediction…

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