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French Physicists Explore The Science Of A Cowboy's Lasso

How does it twirl? Why does it loop? An American cowboy might take it all for granted. But a French team has explored how the laws of physics can explain this common thread.

Lasso science
Lasso science
David Larousserie

PARIS — Cowboys are alive and well, and not only in the United States. You can find three of them twirling their lassos in the middle of a Parisian physics laboratory.

Basile Audoly, Pierre-Thomas Brun and Neil Ribe, all French scientists, made the trip to Denver, Colorado in March to present their theory of “lasso art” at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society.

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Mariateresa Fichele

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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