Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

The Toy Story Theorem: Ep. 3



As I recall, in the official 1995 Pixar original film, Toy Story, after springing off the bouncy ball in his death-defying 'flight' Buzz Lightyear grabs a ceiling fan, and takes a lap, holding on.

We've established that - assuming my estimated heights are somewhat accurate - Buzz will enter this centripetal acceleration cycle at a velocity of about 2.426 m/s!

But what exactly IS his centripetal acceleration?

I think we'd be lying if we said we've never asked ourselves that question before.

Let's take a look:

F = [(m)(v^2)] / r


F = ma

So, to find the acceleration we can set:

ma = [(m)(v^2)] / r

And mass cancels out, so with numbers plugged in - an average ceiling fan having about a 1.3m radius - we would see that:

a = (2.426)^2 / 1.3

a = 5.885 / 1.3

a = 4.527 m/(s^2)

I hope that answered most of your childhood questions.

I will have one more installment of this series as Buzz lets go of the fan, to free fall land back on Andy's bed, right where it all started!


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...