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Johnny English Pendulum



Like I said in my last blog post, I love spy movies, and I think I am starting to love them more and more because of all the physics applications in them.  While Bond movies are awesome, I would say my all time favorite film would be Johnny English starring Rowan Atkinson, most known for his role of playing Mr. Bean.  In the film, Atkinson plays a mock agent, and pretty much no one takes him seriously or believes that he can be successful at anything.  However, after several mess ups, Johnny manages to save the day by preventing the villain, Pascal, from being crowned the new King of England.  The way he accomplishes this task is rather unorthodox, and it applies the physics concepts of a pendulum.  As the Bishop of Canterbury is about to place the crown on Pascal's crown at the alter of Westminster Abbey, English, who is in the balcony, grabs hold of a free cable, and in an almost "Tarzan-like" manner, swings from the balcony and grabs the crown.  While his foil of the coronation is successful, English then has a slight problem: he cannot get off of the swinging rope.  See, when he swung, English did not understand the principle of conservation of energy as well as air resistance.  For starters, he reaches for a pole on the opposite side of the swing that is above where he swung from; by conservation of energy, he would not have enough energy to get to a height higher than where he started from because that would require more energy to be converted into potential.  As a result, English misses the grab and is hopelessly swinging back and forth.  Then, thanks to air resistance, the distance of the swings becomes shorter, and he is forced to come face to face with Pascal, who by that point has a gun aimed at him.  But, in English's clumsy fashion, he survives and saves the day!


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