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March 25, 2017

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A hummingbird is able to hover because, as the wings move downwards, they exert a downward force on the air. Newton's third law tells us that the air exerts an equal and opposite force (upwards) on the wings. The average of this force must be equal to the weight of the bird when it hovers. If the wings move through a distance of 3.1 cm with each stroke, and the wings beat 96 times per second, determine the work performed by the wings on the air in 1 minute if the mass of the hummingbird is 3.0 grams.

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