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We will be looking at newton's 3 laws around Halloween.For the 2nd, f=mxa, I would like to contruct a giant spider web and give some force facts about spider silk and webs. How strong is spider silk?How strong is a spider's web? How much force can silk withstand? How much force can the whole web withstand?If you have any more ideas for the holidays, please send them! Thanks, joan.
Question Date: 2006-07-11
Answer 1:

I have published papers about forces in spider silk and spider webs.

Here are links to some news articles about this work:

spider silk

Hansma's research

Here's a link to a news article about my friend, Prof. Cheryl Hayashi atUC Riverside, and her spider silk research:


Here's a link about the guy who was saved from a bullet because the silk handkerchief in his pocket stopped it:


That doesn't give you much info about F = ma. We tend to be more interested in Work = Force x Distance. We measure the forces as we stretch the silk various distances - nanometers with our Molecular Force Probes and millimeters when we hang tiny weights onto lengths of spiderweb.

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