# work-energy

### Basketball shot - real or fake?

I have seen several videos similar to this. Real? Fake? How many tries did this take? Let the analysis begin. Before I do any analysis, let me state that I think this is not fake. I do not know that for sure, just my first guess. How would I tell if it is real or fake? This is tricky. I can't really get a good trajectory of the ball to make some measurements on it because of the camera angle (next time people, make sure you set the camera up perpendicular to the plane of motion and far enough away to avoid perspective problems - thanks!) Really, the best I can do is to look at the…

### Turn or go straight? Quick!

This is a classic problem. You are in a car heading straight towards a wall. Should you try to stop or should you try to turn to avoid the wall? Bonus question: what if the wall is not really wide so you don't have to turn 90 degrees? Assumption: Let me assume that I can use the normal model of friction - that the maximum static friction force is proportional to the normal force. Also, I will assume that the frictional coefficient for stopping is the same as for turning. Stopping I am going to start with the case of trying to stop. Suppose the car is moving towards the wall at a speed…

### More Dangerous Kids

My car had a flat tire. When you get a flat tire, you might as well make something useful of it - right? As I was jacking the car up, I had a great idea. Use this for one of my "Spoof Science" videos. The only problem is that this takes a ton of work to put together a short video. So, I am just going to talk about what I could have done. Here is a quick clip of my 4 year old lifting the car. So, he lifted the car - it maybe be difficult to tell, but he did. HE LIFTED THE CAR! Ok, I know, he only lifted part of the car. If I were to use this in a real Spoof Science video, I would have…

### Physics 2 refresher

So, I hear you are starting your second semester of physics. One of the cool things about physics is that the second semester still uses stuff from the first semester. Maybe you forgot some of that stuff, so here are the bare essentials you will need to get by (this is assuming you are in the algebra-based second semester of physics) Vectors Really, just about the entire semester course is about the electric and magnetic field. Both of these are easiest to represent as vectors. So, you pretty much need to know how to deal with vectors. Here are some reviews: How do you represent vectors…

### How hot would the space jumper get?

A new video from the Red Bull Stratos Jump guys came out. Here it is: This reminds me of an unanswered question about the Stratos jump that I didn't address on my last post on this topic. Commenter Long Drop asked about how much Felix would heat up as he falls from 120,000 feet. This is a great question. The first, off the bat answer is that he won't heat up too much. Why do I say this? Well, when Joe Kittinger jumped from over 100,000 feet and didn't melt. Still, this is a great thing to calculate. How do you calculate something like this? I will look at this in terms of energy. For…

### MythBusters and double the speed

In the last episode of MythBusters, Adam and Jamie wanted to test something that Jamie had said earlier: "Two cars crashing head on at 50 mph is the same as one car crashing into a wall at 100 mph" Jamie was wrong, but that is not what I am going to talk about. Instead, I am going to talk about Adam's small scale test of this situation. Really, it was a nice set up. Basically, he wanted to collide something into a wall at one speed and then double that speed. Then he was going to collide two things together at the lower speed. He had a cool way of measuring the collision. He put a piece…

### MythBusters, Falling, Stopping, and Integration

In a MythBusters episode some time ago, Adam and Jamie jumped off a building. There was some cool stuff in this, but I want to focus on the acceleration data they collected. Before jumping into a pit of foam, they first wanted to test the set up by dropping a dummy into it and measuring the accelerations. Lucky for me, they showed a quick screen shot of their data. Note: I previously posted the calculations for jumping and stopping off of a building. For me, I see this and think - numerical integration. Before that, let me look at the physics. Here is a diagram of someone jumping off a…

### Dangerous Jumping Calculator

Maybe this could fall under my "physics of parkour". It could also apply to the MythBusters "dumpster diving" episode. In both of these cases, the question is: how far can you jump off of something and not severely hurt yourself. They do this a lot in parkour. Here are some examples: There are a ton of these things on youtube. Let me go ahead and say it. I would not recommend trying any of this stuff. Even reading this blog won't adequately prepare you. So, if you go ahead and try to do some cool jump, don't blame me for your injuries. Now that the warning is out there - let me get on…

### MythBusters and the first water heater

Last night I saw the newest episode of MythBusters. One of the myths they revisited was the exploding water heater. Well, it turns out that I had an analysis of this first explosion, but I didn't move it over when I switched software. So, here it is. In case you never saw the first episode of exploding water heaters, here is the important part: If you are impatient, here are the answers (from the video analysis): Time of flight = 11.8 seconds Max height = 167 meters = 548 feet Launch speed = 234 mph Speed on impact with the ground = 76 mph First, from re-watching the video, I can see (and…

### Some Tips for Punkin Chunkin

I already attacked the 2008 Punkin Chunkin Show. So, now I going to give the chunkers some tips. In case you aren't familiar, the Punkin Chunkin contest has teams create devices to launch a pumpkin. They have different categories, but I am going to focus on the air-powered devices. The basic idea is to make an over sized pneumatic potato gun. Here are the things I was inspired to think about. It seems all the canons were aimed at about the same angle. Did they guess at the angle? Or is this trial and error? What would be the best angle for a pumpkin launch? Does the optimal angle of…

### Snow Board Jump Help

I really shouldn't do this. I might be helping someone to set up something dangerous. But, I am going to anyway. Here is a question posted on some forum. (actually, it is from math help forum) "I'm anticipating a good winter this year, one with lots of snow. My yard is sloped quite a bit and it would be the ideal place for a huge snowboard jump, only problem is I need to calculate how fast I will be traveling when I hit the jump, how high and what angle the jump should be, and the distance and angle of the landing ramp to optimize my range." So, what am I going to do? I am going to give…

### Giant water slide jump

Thanks to Nick for showing me this video (Check out his blog - Fine Structure): See more funny videos and TBT Videos at Today's Big Thing. Wow. That was my first reaction. My second reaction was: no way. Is this real life? I just don't know. How hard would it be to find out exactly where to place that pool and where did they get the water from? Obviously, this one requires some analysis. First, on the VAS for this video: 4/8. Not too good. Oh here are the questions I would like to answer: What is the guy's acceleration after he leaves the ramp? What was his initial velocity leaving…

### July 4th and an example of work-energy

July 4th can be fun. One activity my family enjoys is playing in the lake at my parents house. Along with this comes the jumping off the dock. Great fun, and great physics. Here is a short clip. Work Energy Example from Rhett Allain on Vimeo. Notice that I violated my own rules for making videos. In particular, the camera was not perpendicular to the motion. Also, I can handle panning cameras, but not when there is nothing but sky in the background. This video is therefore not appropriate for a video analysis. That is ok. I don't need it to talk about physics. So, here is the…

### Hancock throws a boy. Not nice.

I finally saw the movie Hancock. Yes, I know it has been out for a long time but I don't get out much. You know me, I can't leave something like this well enough alone. It's not my fault, I was born this way. It shouldn't spoil the movie too much if I tell you this one scene (you have probably already seen it anyway). Basically, Hancock gets upset with this boy and throws him in the air to scare him or something. In case you did not time it, the kid was in the air for 23 seconds. I claim that in order for Hancock to throw a person in the air for this long, the acceleration during…

### How much would "free" energy cost you?

This was on my 'to do' list, but Tom at Swans on Tea beat me to it. Basically, this grocery store has these plates that when depressed produce electrical energy. Tom does a good job pointing out that this is not free energy (the original article says this also). Clearly, the energy comes from the cars. How much would this cost the cars? As always, let me start with some assumptions. The original article says that the bumps will generate 30 kW of energy every hour. That is an odd thing to say. I am going to interpret that as 30 kW of power for all hours (every hour). They couldn't have…

### Can an exploding hammer lift a guy?

Maybe this isn't the best video to analyze, but it sure is funny. I am not sure why it is so funny - maybe you should just watch it first. Sledgehammer Funby Stressmaker I don't really know why these guys are putting explosive on sledge hammers. Sure it looks fun, but I think I would pass. Anyway, here is the part I was curious about. Did the exploding hammer lift him off the ground, or did he jump as a reaction to the explosion. It kind of looks like he was lifted, but I am not sure that is possible. Video analysis to the rescue. (using Tracker Video) So, I assumed the sledge hammer…

### MythBusters - I was so wrong about the see saw

I made a gamble and my gamble failed. It really wasn't my fault. In the preview, they showed this huge barrel thing dropping on a see saw. It looked something like this: (I could search for 30 minutes for a picture of this online, or just draw it) At first glance, this looked JUST like that video of the pile driver shooting the skydiver up in the air. You can see how I would make that mistake. To make up for my mistake, I will give a very simple analysis of the see saw myth. The basic idea is that something comes down, hits the see saw and sends the other thing flying up. If I assume…

### I'm Iron Man. (no, I'm not)

I finally saw the movie Iron Man. It was good. I feel that I am qualified to evaluate the movie. When I was in high school, I was totally into comic books. Mostly Spider-man, but I still have a significant collection of Iron Man comics. Ok, now you know I am not an Iron Man attacker. I will now attack the movie. Sorry, it's what I do (remember, I already said I liked it). There are several things I could comment on, in fact I recall some other blog talking about the physics of Iron Man. My attack will center on the scene where Tony Stark (Iron Man) escapes from captivity with his home…

### Curse my slow fingers! Someone else did the Kirk-car thing

Clearly, I am not a professional blogger. I am an amateur. This is because I was under the impression that only amateur bloggers could compete in the blogging olympics. When did they change these rules? Anyway, Adam Weiner did a physics-based analysis of the latest Star Trek movie trailer. Here is the trailer: In the trailer (oh, spoiler alert) a young Kirk jumps out of a car before it goes over a cliff. It does look odd, and that is why I had intended to analyze it. In Adam's analysis, at PopSci.com the basic approach was: Take the initial velocity of the car (from the clip) Assume the…

### The Physics of Professor Splash's Jump into 1 foot of water

Here is a video of a guy jumping 35 feet into a pool of water only 1 foot deep. UPDATE: Apparently, that video went away. Here is another version. How does this work? I don't think I even need to do a video analysis of this motion, all the important info is given. I will assume that air resistance did not play a signficant role (and that is a good assumption - or good enough - see this for example: motion of a falling tennis ball). So, here is the situation. Part 1: guy falls 35 feet 5 inches (10.8 meters). ![Screenshot 16sd](http://scienceblogs.com/dotphysics/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/…