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Physics in The Simpsons



The other day, I was watching The Simpsons, one of my favorite TV shows, and noticed that in a particular scene, one of the characters, Mr. Burns, experienced multiple laws of physics in action. He was on a camping trip with his millionaire friends, and, with a shotgun, attempted to shoot a stationary pigeon. Mr Burns, who is unrealistically underweight, shot backwards dramatically after firing the gun. This occurrence demonstrates conservation of linear momentum. Originally, both him and the gun were stationary. After firing the gun, the bullet of relatively little mass travelled at an extremely high velocity in the positive direction. Since linear momentum is conserved, Mr. Burns' body was propelled in the negative direction at a high velocity because of how small the mass of his body is. Therefore, the mass of the bullet times its velocity minus the mass of Mr. Burns times his velocity is equal to 0. Mr Burns was, unfortunately, standing next to a lake, and was propelled into it. However, he did not sink in the lake. This occurred because of the surface tension of the water. The force of gravity on Mr burns is relatively small, considering how little he weighs. When he came in contact with the water, the surface tension of the water was greater than his weight, causing him not to accelerate into the water.


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