Have you ever wondered what would happen if you sped your CD player up to super speeds? Of course, any music that you were listening to would be unrecognizable and sound terrible. However, as it turns out, things get a little more, well, violent than you might assume.

In a recent video, the Slow Mo Guys show viewers exactly what transpires. In short, the entire structure explodes into hundreds and hundreds of tiny fragments. Sounds pretty cool, no? Well, perhaps best of all, you can see the whole process slowed down to just 170,000 frames per second.

It’s a pretty cool video based just on the visuals, but it’s even more amazing once you understand how it works.

In short, once a CD spins faster than 23,000 rotations per minute, its stability is compromised and it starts to fall apart. This is because the rotational force that is “pulling” on the CD is stronger than the force that’s holding it together. And if you just so happen to have a high speed camera (which the Slow Mo Guys do, of course), you can see the propagation of material failure as the disc spins.

That is a very basic breakdown, however. Rhett Allain over at Wired has all of the specific calculations for any who would like to see them.


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