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About michaelkennedy

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  1. In Battlefront, the main infantry weapon is a gun that fires lasers. Though it would be amazing, this will most likely never be a reality because of a few properties of light: refraction and scattering. Light can bend, and will in foggy or rainy conditions. Also, it will disperse as it travels, reducing the intensity. Another reason why it is impractical is the energy requirements for a laser beam that can kill. To create a laser beam that is strong enough to kill, 24 Kg of batteries must be used. This is extremely impractical compared to lighter magazines which can hold a large amount of bullets. Light also has a velocity that is larger than escape velocity, meaning that it will not drop and will just shoot off into space for all eternity. Until light can be harnessed more efficiently or a more compact source of energy can be found, i do not believe that we will be seeing laser rifles anytime in the near future.
  2. Besiege is a game where the object is to build siege engines to take down armies and castles. One extremely effective siege weapon is the catapult, which is loaded with physics. Catapults can be loaded with projectiles that when released are launched at extremely high speeds and over long distances. How a relatively small mechanism can create such large amounts of force and speed is similar in some ways to the crossbow, but different in other ways. With a bow, the string can be drawn back at different distances and can be made with different thicknesses. With a catapult, the exact same amount of potential energy can be transferred to the projectile every time causing much more consistency. This is because of a counterweight, which is placed on the opposite side of the lever as the projectile. This counterweight must weigh much more than the projection itself in order to cause an imbalance, much like a teeter totter. This causes a much higher launch speed because of the mechanical advantage created. Besiege allows you to build catapults, which can fire stones so fast that they can break through castle walls and flatten armies showing the raw power that a knowledge of physics can bring.
  3. A game that me and my friends have been playing a lot recently is called Gang Beasts. It is an arena fighting game where the object is to be the last man standing. What makes it entertaining is that the characters that are fighting are rag-dolls, which means that you have little control over their bodies. They move fluidly and are not stiff, which is very entertaining to watch when it a fight to the death between 8 players. In order to get another player out, you have to punch and kick them until they are knocked out. Then you have to grab them, pick them up, and throw them out of bounds. This all seems very simple, but each limb is individually controlled so it is very difficult. With skill however certain things can be done such as swinging someone around your head in order to throw them farther, or grabbing a part of the map in order to save yourself from falling. The game is 100% physics based, but is extremely hard to explain with words. It is so simple that it is fun and difficult, but makes for some hilarious moments. I mean, whats more fun than dragging your friends limp body over a ledge?
  4. The NBA 2k series is undoubtedly one of if not the most popular sports series around. It is a basketball simulator, where physics governs all aspects of the game. One particular aspect of the game i would like to look at however is the crossover. In basketball, the crossover is a move where the ball is dribbled from one hand to the other very quickly in order to confuse a defender. Sometimes, a crossover is so effective and fast that the defender gets his "ankles broken" or falls over from the move. For example, in our last CYO game Nate Stack got crossed over so hard that he fell over due to the effectiveness of the move. This leaves one question however, which is can someone be tricked so hard by a crossover that their ankles ACTUALLY break? Well, if a large enough force is applies to the ankle bone, it will break. So, theoretically it is possible. In reality, the brain will be able to react to the crossover in time where it will stop applying a force to the side it thought the ball would be on. Crossovers however can cause twisted ankles and are just downright humiliating. Here's a disgusting compilation of the crossover from the master himself:
  5. The Dark Souls series is known for being extremely difficult. This is because of the complexity of the combat and the strength of the enemies in the game. When fighting an enemy, the only way to dodge its weapon is to perform a tuck and roll. The tuck and roll is the core of all combat in Dark Souls. It gives you a small window of invincibility which can be used to re-position yourself behind an enemy or give you just enough time to drink a crucial health potion. At first glance however a tuck and roll looks painful, but when examined closely it can be seen why a tuck and roll is a genius use of physics and the human body in order to mitigate pain. When jumping from a building, all of the force will be exerted upon your feet and legs when landing which is extremely dangerous. If you tuck and roll however, the force will be dispersed evenly across your body, allowing you to jump from distances that you couldn't before. This move is used by people who do Parkour, or freerunning.
  6. The Skate series has taken over skating video games. In Skate, you skate around town doing flips, grinds, and ride ramps doing cool grabs and holds. Behind all of the fancy tricks is a skateboard. Skateboards broken down simply are boards with 4 wheels, with each end bent up slightly. In this blog, i am going to break down the physics of a kick flip, and how it is possible. First, the skateboard gets into the air through an Ollie or bunny hop. Second, the skater will push on opposite sides of the board giving it a rotation around its center axis. If timed correctly, the board will complete one full rotation before landing back on the ground wheel side down. What looks simple is actually a very difficult series of events that must be timed and executed perfectly, or else a wipe out will happen.
  7. One mobile game has taken over IHS: Clash Royale. Most people either play it because the like it, or just simply have it on their phone because one of their friends made them download it. Regardless, one of the most controversial aspects of the game is filled with physics that is taken for granted. The X-Bow is a crossbow that fires huge arrows at outrageous speeds. The mystery behind a crossbow is how such a simple mechanism can create such speed and force behind an arrow. The answer is simple: Potential Energy. When the string of the crossbow is pulled and locked back tightly, work was done on the string giving it stored potential energy. This potential energy will be converted into Kinetic energy in the arrow when released, sending it flying. This explains why the arrow flies faster the tighter the bowstring is, or if you pull it back farther. A higher potential energy inevitably means a higher kinetic energy.
  8. In arguably the greatest gaming series of all time, The Legend of Zelda, one of the core weapons is based solely off of physics: The boomerang. The boomerang is used to kill enemies, retrieve items and rupees, and best of all can be used infinitely due to the fact that it always comes back to you. The key to a boomerang returning to the thrower is a phenomenon known as gyroscopic procession. This is where one wing is moving through the air slightly faster than the other, creating unbalanced forces. As the top wing is spinning forward, the lift force on that wing is greater and resulting in differing forces that gradually turn the boomerang. This causes it to loop around in a circle, and return to the thrower.
  9. In GTA V, physics is a large factor in almost every part of the game. One example is when driving cars in GTA, you can reach some fairly impressive speeds. If you get into a car and start driving immediately, your character doesn't put on a seat belt which is a recipe for disaster. If you crash while driving at an insane speed, you will fly through the windshield and out of the car. This is because of inertia. As everyone knows, inertia is a property of matter. It is a measure of a resistance to acceleration based off of mass. When driving at fast speeds, the car is pushing you at the speed. When the car suddenly stops, your body wants to keep moving forward due to its inertia. Because of the lack of a restraint, your character flies through the windshield and skids across the road. Should've buckled up.
  10. The Battlefield series is widely known for being realistic, intense, and hardcore. Every single aspect of the game is impressively real, even down to how bullets behave when shot. Sniping is one of the most challenging aspects of the game due to the behavior of bullets. When shot, a bullet encounters air resistance and gravity, giving it a downward flight pattern. The air resists its forward motion, giving it a negative acceleration in the x direction, while gravity give the bullet a positive acceleration downward. This is commonly known as "bullet drop", so one must raise the cross hairs above the target depending on how far away it is to account for it. Binoculars can be used to measure the distance, and sights can be adjusted accordingly as well. The implementation of physics into war simulators makes an already realistic and hardcore game that much more intense.
  11. The new Indie game "No Mans Sky" boasts a very impressive infinite galaxy full of planets, aliens, starships, and traders. The ships however travel at speeds which we humans have reached before. You may ask however, "How can an infinite universe even be skimmed if ships can only travel at relatively small sustained speeds?" This is a good question, and it can be answered by the fact that humans in "No Mans Sky" have developed the warp drive. This is a small piece of equipment that when activated allows the ship to travel faster than the speed of light for just a few seconds. This however is enough to travel IMMENSE distances, and because of this the world is able to be explored. The use of the hyperdrive can be seen here, where stars and planets that you are passing blend into swirls and colors due to your insanely high speed.
  12. The "first" video game: Pong. Deceptively simple. Two paddles, and a ball in the middle that bounced back and forth. It is not simple for two reasons: First, whenever the ball strikes the paddle, its y component of speed remains the same but in an opposite direction, and the only way that the x component can change direction is when the ball hits the wall. This means that the world of pong is perfect, where both the paddles and ball are frictionless, and there is no air resistance. Also, when the ball strikes the paddle, it is reflected back at some angle. This reflection of the ball is similar to the reflection of light rays that strike a mirror.
  13. The once popular game "Portal" was set in a laboratory where the player used a special gun that shot portals in order to navigate obstacle courses. The gun shot 2 portals, a blue and an orange, that linked together. The player is then able to jump through the first portal and end up where the second one was shot, covering a huge distance. Even complex things such as jumping through the first portal, then firing the second portal immediately afterwards to then fall through the second and back into the first. Though we do not have this technology YET, there are theoretical physics that explain the existence of wormholes. A wormhole is essentially a folding over of the fabric of space-time, so that the same location in space can be reached while traveling almost no distance compared to the original. It is much easier to explain this visually, and this scene from Interstellar does a fantastic job.
  14. I like the first sentence, "Cello, the best string instrument...". Makes me think you might be a Cello player yourself...
  15. Thanks Chris. All of this information about trampolines EXCEPT how to do a frontflip.