This week on the Physics Central Podcast I'm talking about cheetahs, which have long been admired as the fastest land animals on Earth. But new research shows that speed isn't the big cat's secret to great hunting; it's acceleration. What's the difference? For that we turn to physics! Listen to the podcast to learn more. There's videos too! Just look below the fold.
The new research on cheetah movements was done by scientists at the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London. Here's a great write-up about their work.
Here's a video showing the cheetah's acceleration abilities at work (notice how quickly it slows down from a sprint and changes direction):
And, the video of the "cheetah cub" robot that was designed and built by folks at the Biorobotics lab at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne (EPFL) (aka the Swiss Federal Technical Institute of Technology in Lusanne).