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Archer's paradox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Not to be confused with Zeno's arrow paradox.

Arrow direction when braced and when at full draw. A = bow riser/grip, B = median
plane of the bow, C = arrow aiming line and trajectory

Arrow flexing around the riser of a bow.

The term archer's paradox refers to the phenomenon of an arrow traveling in the
direction it is pointed at at full draw, when it seems that the arrow would have to pass
through the starting position it was in before being drawn, where it was pointed to the
side of the target. The bending of the arrow (around the bow), when released is the
explanation of the paradox and should not be confused with the paradox itself.
Flexing of the arrow when shot from a modern 'centre shot' bow is still present and is
caused by a variety of factors, mainly the way the string is deflected from the fingers
as the arrow is released.

The term was first used by E.J. Rendtroff in 1913,[1] and as understanding was gained
about the arrow flexing out of the way of the bow as it is shot (as first filmed by
Clarence Hickman)[2][3] and then experiencing oscillating back-and-forth bending as it
travels toward the target,[4] this dynamic flexing has incorrectly become a common
usage of the term, causing misunderstanding by those only familiar with modern
target bows, which being 'centre shot' do not actually show any paradoxical behaviour
as the arrow is always pointing visually along its line of flight.[5][6][7]

Contents
1 Details
2 Choice of bow and spine
3 Calibration
4 References
5 External links

Details
In order to be accurate, an arrow must have the correct stiffness, or "dynamic spine",
to flex out of the way of the bow and return to the correct path as it leaves the bow.[8]
Incorrect dynamic spine results in unpredictable contact between the arrow and the
bow, therefore unpredictable forces on the arrow as it leaves the bow, and therefore
reduced accuracy.[9] Additionally, if an archer shoots several arrows with different
dynamic spines, as they clear the bow they will be deflected on launch by different
amounts and so will strike in different places. Competition archers therefore strive not
only for arrows that have a spine within a suitable range for their bow, but also for
highly consistent spine within sets of arrows.[10] This is done using a static spine tester.
[11][12][13][14]

Choice of bow and spine


Less powerful bows require arrows with less dynamic spine. (Spine is the stiffness of
the arrow.[14]) Less powerful bows have less effect in deforming the arrow as it is
accelerated (see "Euler" buckling, case I) from the bow and the arrow must be
"easier" to flex around the riser of the bow before settling to its path. Conversely,
powerful bows need stiffer arrows with more spine, as the bow will have a much
greater bending effect on the arrow as it is accelerated.[15] An arrow with too much
dynamic spine for the bow will not flex and as the string comes closer to the bow
stave, the arrow will be forced off to the side. Too little dynamic spine will result in
the arrow deforming too much and being propelled off to the other side of the target.
In extreme cases, the arrow may break before it can accelerate, which can be a safety
hazard.[16][17][18]

Calibration
Dynamic spine is largely determined by shaft length, head weight, and static spine.
Static spine is the stiffness of the center portion of the shaft under static conditions.[19]
The Archery Trade Association (ATA) (formerly the Archery Manufacturers and
Merchants Organization (AMO)) static spine test method hangs a 2 pounds (0.91 kg)
weight from the center of a 26 inches (0.66 m) suspended section of the arrow shaft.
[20][21]
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F2031-05 ("Standard
Test Method for Measurement of Arrow Shaft Static Spine (Stiffness)") hangs a 880
grams (1.94 lb) weight from the center of a 28 inches (0.71 m) suspended section of
the arrow shaft.[22] The (obsolete) British Grand National Archery Society (GNAS)
system used a 1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) weight and a variable length with the arrow
supported just behind the head and just in front of the nock.[citation needed] Because of this,
GNAS cannot be directly converted to ATA or ASTM.
The primary unit of measurement for spine is deflection in thousandths of an inch (a
deflection of 500 equals 0.500 inches) Deflection is sometimes converted to pounds
of bow weight by dividing 26 by the deflection in inches. (26 divided by 0.500"
equals a spine of 52 pounds.)[23]

References
1. "The Toxophilists Paradox". Forest and Stream. 8 February 1913.
2. Rheingans, W. R. (MarchApril 1936). "Exterior and Interior Ballistics
of Bows and Arrows - Review". Archery Review: 236 ff.
3. Rheingans, W. R.; Nagler, F. (JuneAugust 1937). "Spine and Arrow
Design". American Bowman Review: 226232.
4. Park, James L. (8 September 2013) [9 November 2012]. "Arrow
behaviour in the lateral plane during and immediately following the power
stroke of a recurve archery bow". Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical
Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology 227 (3):
172183. doi:10.1177/1754337112464844.
5. Kooi, B. W.; Sparenberg, J. A. (1997). "On the Mechanics of the
Arrow: Archer's Paradox" (PDF). Journal of Engineering Mathematics 31 (4):
285306. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
6. Kooi, B. W. (1998). "The Archer's Paradox and Modelling, a Review"
(PDF). In Hollister-Short, Graham. History of Technology 20. pp. 125137.
ISBN 9780720123760. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
7. Kooi, B. W. (1998). "Bow-arrow interaction in archery" (PDF). Journal
of Sport Sciences 16: 721731. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
8. Park, James L. (June 2013) [1 June 2012]. "High-speed video analysis
of arrow behaviour during the power stroke of a recurve archery bow".
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of
Sports Engineering and Technology 227 (2): 128136.
doi:10.1177/1754337112446406.
9. Carmichael, A. Ron (24 June 2001). "Archer's Paradox".
texasarchery.org. Texas State Archery Association. Retrieved 13 February
2013.
10. "The Archer's Paradox". Bega Valley Traditional Archers. February
2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
11. "Spine-O-Meter Mark II Instruction Manual" (PDF).
oakcreekarchery.com. Oak Creek Archery. 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
12. "How To Make a Spine Tester". poorfolkbows.com. Retrieved 13
February 2013.
13. "Spine-O-Meter Appendix A: Translating Arrow Spine Test Methods"
(PDF). oakcreekarchery.com. Oak Creek Archery. 2010. Retrieved 13 February
2013.
14. "Jim Hill's Spine Tester". texasarchery.org. Texas State Archery
Association. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
15. "Carbon Arrow University". Hunter's Friend LLC. 2011. Retrieved 13
February 2013.
16. "Controlling Dynamic Arrow Spine" (PDF). Arrow Trade Magazine.
July 2006. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
17. Rieckmann, Marianne; Park, James L.; Codrington, John; Cazzolato,
Ben (June 2012) [3 April 2012]. "Modelling the three-dimensional vibration
of composite archery arrows under freefree boundary conditions" (PDF).
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of
Sports Engineering and Technology 226 (2): 114122.
doi:10.1177/1754337112442273. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
18. Yononindo, Daniel (2 Feb 2012). Archers Paradox up to the Limit !!!
Extended Version. YouTube. Event occurs at 6m15s. The breaking of the arrow
at the end of the video was NOT due to a lack of knowledge on my part !!! IT
WAS QUITE DELIBERATE !!!
19. "Arrow Spine Information" (PDF). yeoldedelphbowmen.com. December
2012. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
20. "AMO Standards (1987)" (PDF). Archery Manufacturers and
Merchants Organization. 1987. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
21. "AMO Standards (2001)" (PDF). Archery Manufacturers and
Merchants Organization. 2001. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
22. "ASTM F2031 - 05(2010) Standard Test Method for Measurement of
Arrow Shaft Static Spine (Stiffness)". American Society for Testing and
Materials. 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
23. Cosgrove, Gabriela (1994). "Wooden Arrows". The Traditional
Bowyer's Bible. Volume Three. Guilford: The Lyons Press. p. 228. ISBN 1-
58574-087-X.

External links
Media related to Archer's paradox at Wikimedia Commons
The Archer's Paradox in SLOW MOTION - video