Legolas: prince of the Woodland realm, one of the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring, uniter of several peoples of Middle Earth, and a stranger to any basic principle of physics. Among many other traits, one of the characteristics that sets elves apart from any other inhabitants of Middle Earth is their ability to literally tread lightly — almost without a trace. Director Peter Jackson reminds us of this trait frequently in both The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film trilogy. The first evidence of this ability can be seen when Legolas is able…

The scene never fails to give me chills. In the final installment of the beloved film trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, the kingdom of Gondor uses a series of beacons to signal to a neighboring kingdom called Rohan for aid in battle. To do this, a singular beacon is lit which signals for a subsequent beacon to be lit several miles away. This process repeats for hundreds of miles until the final beacon is close enough to be seen by those in Rohan. As soon as the first beacon is lit, the iconic music of Howard Shore whisks you…


The physics experience of Amelia Brown, and the curiosity and project management of Erica Dohring brought two strangers together to answer the question: what is the minimum angle that an individual can execute a handstand at? In other words, if θ is defined as the angle created when moving from the hands to the wrists to the arms, what is the minimum angle possible when maintaining a handstand before falling over? If we define 90° to be when your body is straight up and down, on average, the minimum possible angle is only about 87°!

This question can be re-framed…

Amelia Brown

Physicist, Classicist, and all-round curious person. I have no socials, but you can contact me at

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