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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 14: "Charades"



There are just a few bad physics moments in this episode and so I thought it would be a good one to talk about.

Ok, so this is the scene:


As this girl (Happy) is climbing a glass building using nothing but gloves with suction cups on them (which is one of the things I'm not sure made sense) she starts slipping. Meanwhile the two guys on the ground (Toby and Sylvester) are having this conversation.

Sylvester, think of something!

Okay, okay! The force of gravity is 9.
81 meters per second squared.
If she swings hard to her left, then her right hand would completely disengage from the building.
And for 2/10 of a second she won't be attached to anything.
But she can use that time to get to the balcony or plummet to her death.

The first issue (you might have caught it) is that Sylvester says the FORCE of gravity is 9.81 m/s2 when that measurement is ACCELERATION due to gravity. In actuality, the force that Happy creates is her weight times 9.81 (Force= mass x acceleration) which is much greater than Sylvester originally says.

The bigger issue is the fact that Happy can cling to the side of the building using nothing but suction cups on her hands and than swing like that as she is falling. Those would have to be VERY strong suction cups in order to overcome the force of Happy's weight downward and hold her against the building. Plus, Happy most likely does not have the upper body strength to hold her entire weight as she climbs up the building like that and she never really used her feet to help her at all.

However, I think the worst one is the fact that as the suction cups are slipping, Happy is still able to use them to swing like that on the building. The hard torque (the rotational force of her movement) to the right would be enough to dislodge immediately and she would have fallen off in the wrong direction. Before she does what you can see in the image above, Happy shows that BOTH gloves are slipping meaning that they no longer could maintain a strong enough force to hold her against the building. Therefore, her rotational movement would not have been able to maintain itself for that long and she never should have been able to throw herself onto the balcony like that.

OK, I know that wasn't the best explanation and I didn't have a lot of images but this show is really hard to find stuff from this show because it is really new.

Thanks for reading!


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