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James Bond and Flipping Cars



I love spy movies, so its no surprise that when my family received Casino Royale (a James Bond movie), for Christmas, that I was glued to the T.V.  In the film, James' female counterpart, Vesper, is kidnapped by evil gamblers.  Being the smart guy that he is, James quickly figures out their plot, hops into his Aston Martin and speeds after the kidnappers.  However, his kidnappers are actually after Bond, so they tie up Vesper and place her directly in the road; Bond swerves to avoid Vesper, his Aston Martin does a few 360s, and he ends up crashing and in the hands of the evil guys.  While I would love to go on about the rest of the plot, the car crash is what I really need to discuss because physics plays a big role in why Bond's sweet ride goes out of control.  When Bond is speeding in the car, the mass and therefore inertia of the combined system (Bond and the car), is moving in a straight line.  However, when Bond swerves in order to avoid hitting Vesper, he is abruptly changing his path of motion.  Because inertia is the measure of an object to resist a change in motion, and the inertia of Bond and the car, due to their combined large mass, is rather high, the inertia causes Bond and the car to continue in the original direction and resist the change in motion.  As a result, Bond's car flips through the air and he is taken prisoner; but not to worry, in his smooth fashion, he manages to escape and save Vesper!


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