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Published on Dec 14, 2007
Demonstration of lift generated by air flow over a surface. A quarter is placed on the edge of a table. By blowing sharply across the surface of the coin you can generate enough lift to cause the coin to lift off the table and fly into a cup placed a few inches behind the coin. High Speed Video capture (500 fps) reveals that the coin lifts straight up about 1/8 inch, tips back and fourth, and then gets caught up in the air stream. Bernoulli calculations indicate that air velocity must reach about 150 mph to lift a coin. For US coins, the surface area varies in similar proportion to the mass of the coin making the required speed about the same for any coin. Read: If you can't do it with a quarter, you won't be able to get a penny, dime, or nickel to work either.