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Fundamental Law Broken



The Law of Conservation of Energy: Energy may neither be created nor destroyed.

One of the most simple transformations of energy occurs when a ball is dropped from height, h. Before being released, the ball possesses potential energy equal to mgh with m=mass, g=gravitational constant, h=height. While the ball is in motion, before it reaches the ground, its kinetic energy= (1/2)mv2 increases and potential energy decreases. When the ball hits the ground, some energy is converted to friction. So, when the ball rebounds off the floor, it will not exceed the height it was released from.

Well, Disney broke this fundamental law in their 1997 film, Flubber, which was a remake of the 1961 film, The Absent-Minded Professor. In Flubber starring Robin Williams, Flubber-- aka green flying rubber, bounces to the sky when dropped from 4ft off the ground. Obviously, Disney threw the law of conservation of energy out the window to create this funny fictitious substance. Flubber, when applied to the soles of the shortest, whitest, weakest, worst basketball players, allowed the athletes to jump remarkably high. The best part in the film comes right before the buzzer of the basketball game when a player with Flubber on his shoes jumps from mid-court to do about eight somersaults in the air and fly head down through the basketball hoop with the ball for the win. Best buzzer-beater ever.

I'd like to see this happen in a March Madness game. But, for now and probably forever, physics restricts both the idea and creation of Flubber.



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