In the image to the right you see a toy rocket launcher. My kids were gifted this toy for their 4th birthday some time ago by a family friend. The action is pneumatic – you slide a rocket onto the launcher, step onto the air compressor thingy, and off it goes – pretty cool actually…they love it!

I was playing with the kids one day and my daughter decided that we should aim at the play set about 20 feet away in the yard. So – we did; we aimed the rocket at the play set the best that we could and launched.

We were off by a mile…my daughter Isabella looked at me puzzled. I smiled and said:

”Bella, I guess even though we thought we were aiming just right, we were off. Let’s try to aim the rocket again and see what happens” – we carefully moved the nose of the rocket a bit to the right and shot…

Missed by a mile again, but to the other side this time, at which point I found myself doing my best to explain to my four year-old daughter the One in Sixty Rule.

The One in Sixty Rule

One in Sixty Rule states that a trajectory which is deviated by 1 degree off course will place an object off of the intended destination by 1 mile for every 60 miles (57.3 to be exact) of travel. This rule illustrates the immense impact that a very minimal change can have on the outcome in conjunction with other variables.

For example, while changing trajectory by 1 degree when traveling by foot for one hour we will note a very minimum impact on the destination point, but the same change in a jet airplane will take us to a point 1 mile away from the intended. In some …read more