Just a Little Common Sense

For a life based on reason, ethics, literature and art.

How to Make Physics Interesting

with 2 comments

Rhett Allain over at DotPhysics analyzed a film scene from Commando to calculate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s density, thus determining wether he really is human. (Hint: He isn’t)
This is what it looks like:

Let me look at the combo of the two men (Arnold and Sully) and look at the forces acting on this “system”. Picture time:

If I assume Arnie is holding Sully just to the point where they are both going to fall, then there would just be one force on the Arnie-Sully system from the ground. It would act on the system at the edge of the cliff. The other two forces are the gravitational force on Arnie and the gravitational force on Sully. […]

Using that diagram, I can scale the image with Sulley hanging over the cliff. This is what I get (I added the red line to show the vertical line up from the edge of the cliff).

From that (and one estimate of Sulley), I get:

–> rb = 0.44 m
–> ra = 0.15 m
–> ms = 68 kg (150 pounds)

Putting these values in, I get:

Go over and read it now. It’s hilarious, and it’s Physics made interesting. If my school physics teacher had used examples like this one, I suspect I’d have fallen in love with science at a much earlier age. We need more of this!


Written by Phil

June 22, 2010 at 20:50

2 Responses

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  1. Amazing :) Interesting.


    July 12, 2010 at 06:13

  2. Some playful experiments i need


    September 7, 2013 at 18:10

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