Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Losing Weight Can Save Lives

Sign in to follow this  


So over the weekend, I've been thinking about how much worse my grades have become recently. Long story short, this got me thinking about retarding forces, and a wonderful example to share with you all.

Now let's say that there are 2 people sitting in a helicopter with their legs hanging out the side, having some lunch. One of them is ridiculously overweight, let's call him Big Mike, and the other is ridiculously skinny, let's call him Nick. Mike weighs around 300 lbs, which is the equivalent of about 135 kg. For convenience, let's just say that Nick weighs around 100 lbs, which is the equivalent of about 45 kg.

Now let's say that Mike dropped one of his sandwiches off the edge of the helicopter, and reached out to grab it, but accidentally slipped off the side. Nick, in a feat of heroism, grabs Mike, but was sadly too late to stop him, and ended up falling off the side as well.

The two are now tumbling down into somebody's backyard, where conveniently, there's a trampoline underneath the two of them. The trampoline is strong enough to stop Nick safely if he was moving at terminal velocity, but not Mike, even if he was moving at double Nick's terminal velocity.

For convenience, let's say that the force of air resistance is equal to -bv, and b = 9.8 for both of them, and they both fell for long enough to reach their terminal velocities.


As you can see, Mike would eventually accelerate to about 135 m/s and Nick would eventually accelerate to about 45 m/s. Double of Nick's terminal velocity is 90 m/s, but sadly, Mike was moving faster than that, and tumbled into the trampoline, breaking it, and died smashing into the ground beneath it.

Because Big Mike was moving faster than Nick, he broke their safety net, so Nick smashed into the ground and died too.

If only Mike had kept his gym membership, he and Nick might've survived that fall.

Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Comments

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.

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.

  • Create New...