Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    31
  • comments
    41
  • views
    745

Simpsons Physics 3: Up, Chuck, and Away

Sign in to follow this  
Cvankerkhove

88 views

I recall an episode of the Simpsons where Homer and Bart go in a "Zero Gravity Ride" on a jet. In the show, the way the ride works is the jet flies very high above the altitude of Earthy, then when it reaches maximum altitude, does a nose dive towards the surface of the Earth. If we analyze the physics behind this, we can understand that because the jet is in free fall, Bart and Homer are in free fall, and therefore its like "0 Gravity." In reality, there is still a gravitational force acting on them, but it feels like there isn't because of free fall, and the jet falls at the same rate as the things inside. This is the exact same concept of a space shuttle in orbit. When astronauts are in orbit, they aren't really in a place with Zero Gravity. They are actually in constant free fall around the Earth. 

Furthermore, we can analyze the motion and actions Bart and Homer make when in free fall. one thing they do it float, but in order to move themselves a net force needs to act on them. By pushing their legs off the wall, a normal force is exerted on them and they can thus accelerate in the x direction until hitting the wall across them. Also, at one point they have a race by burping. Because burping releases gas from the system, an equal and opposite force pushes Homer and Bart in the opposite direction. This force is of course exaggerated for the purposes of the show, but the idea behind it is correct, similar to using a fire extinguisher on a rolling chair to move. Now indulge yourself in this comedic video of the scene.   

 

Sign in to follow this  


1 Comment


Recommended Comments

Its really interesting to think of the concepts of physics and how zero gravity makes all these relationships so pure

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.

×