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Family Guy Physics


AlphaGeek

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Family Guy isn't exactly school appropriate in most cases, but it is, however, physics appropriate. In one episode, Brian (the dog) educates Peter (the tubby man) on his weight issue. Brian claims that Peter has his own gravitational pull, and continues to demonstrate this by placing an apple nearby his stomach. The fruit then assumes orbit directed around Peter's abdomen.

...For those of you who are not familliar with the episode, here is a not-so-legally posted, poor quality youtube video featuring our obese friend. :apple:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHW8ZwxOiKY

Lets take a closer look at the physics of this cartoon.

Assuming that a feasible weight for roughly 44 year old Peter is 100 kg (220 pounds) and the average apple weights .15 kg, as well as the radius of the orbit being roughly 1 meter from Peter's center, here are the technicalities of the situation.

The force of gravity on the apple = (GmM)/r2 = ((6.67E-11)(100*.15)/12 = 1E-9 N

The acceleration due to gravity on planet Peter is = ((6.67E-11)(100))/12 = 6.67E-9 m/s2

And finally, for the apple to escape its orbit around Peter, it would have to be going a grand total of [(2GM)/r]1/2

, or 1.15E-4 m/s.

Note how these values are extremely small. For one thing, this situation is impossible in the first place. To emphasize this, the gravitational force is so small that it likely could not even pick up the apple. Even if it were magically strong enough to do so, the speed of the apple was far greater in the video than its small escape velocity, and would fling out of orbit before Brian even turned on the Three Stooges. Sorry, Seth McFarlane. Physics disagrees with you. Guess Family Guy isn't such intelligent programming after all...

--Alpha Geek

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