The Physics Behind Axe Throwing

Well done to Sahibdeep for his video submission that demonstrated the physics behind axe throwing. Take a look at his cover letter below:

Axes are one of the oldest tools that has been used by humans for various jobs and today it has become one of the most adrenaline-inducing sports. Like many others, I have come to develop a passion for axe throwing which led me to take part in competitions. Although it may look easy, there is a lot of physics involved in throwing an axe. When an axe is thrown, air resistance as well as gravity acts against the velocity of the axe, which is travelling through mid-air. Both of these forces pull the axe down and the air pushes it back. However, the axe becomes balanced as soon as it hits the target, therefore it stays there. If the blade doesn’t hit the target, gravity becomes the greatest force, causing the axe to clatter onto the ground. As the axe travels through the air, it rotates around the centre of its mass. The axe, just like any other object flung into the air, will take up a parabolic curved path, as shown in the video. For the blade to hit the target, it is important to throw the axe from a distance that would enable the axe to complete at least one full rotation. Someone throwing from too far would end up hitting the top part of the axe and if it is thrown from too near, the bottom part of the handle will hit the target. As you can see, axe throwing is not just a fun casual activity to do on the weekend, there is a lot of aspects to it and thanks to Physics, I am better able to understand my passion.