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Why suitcases rock and fall over – puzzle solved

Why suitcases rock and fall over – puzzle solved

Science
It's a common experience when dashing for a train or plane while lugging a two-wheeled suitcase. The bag rocks alarmingly from side-to-side and threatens to overturn. Now, scientists have investigated this conundrum of everyday physics. Speeding up rather than slowing down can solve the problem, they say. Alternatively, you can pivot the handle of the suitcase as close to the ground as possible. French scientists studied a model suitcase on a treadmill to see what goes wrong when a suitcase rocks out of control at high speed. They developed equations to explain why two-wheeled trolleys have a tendency to rock from one wheel to the other. In cases of unstable bags - after having gone over a bump, for example - they found luggage rocks from side-to-side until it falls over, or it reach...