Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics
Why do falling cats always land on their feet? The question has long intrigued humans. In this talk, we explore how the solution stumped brilliant minds and how it helped solve other seemingly impossible puzzles. With numerous photos and videos, physicist and cat parent Greg Gbur explores how attempts to understand the cat-righting reflex have provided crucial insights into puzzles in mathematics, geophysics, neuroscience, and human space exploration.
Greg Gbur is a Professor of Physics and Optical Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, specializing in theoretical classical optics. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, and has published two textbooks, Mathematical Methods for Optical Physics an Engineering (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Singular Optics (CRC Press, 2017). His first popular science book, Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics, was published by Yale University Press in October 2019. He runs a weblog on popular science and other subjects at Skulls in the Stars.