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1. ## Physics of "Interstellar"

Justin- I had no idea that the tidal waves on Miller's planet were fixed waves, I did not even know that fixed waves could actually be possible in that sense (as stupid as that might sound). That is really cool (and kind of freaky). Jake- The idea of watching a live feed from Miller's planet is definitely something I would never have thought of, very cool! I think the idea of time dilation, as you described and applied it here, is pretty neat and a little bit scary. I can't imagine watching a live feed moving that slow! Nate- I actually was wondering about how Cooper could have gotten out of the black hole, thanks for the explanation! Very interesting ideas!
2. ## Physics of "Interstellar"

One of the physics concepts I picked up in Interstellar was the physics was the idea of a 5th dimension. I did some research and very quickly realized that I had opened the Pandora's box that is quantum physics. Simply put: I was lost. So I asked my physicist brother for some help and ended up getting a ten minute crash course in the dimensions. Here's what I got. To gain the perspective of another spacial dimension: When you hit a 2-dimensional drum set, which is in "flatland," you have to hit it from our third dimension, one in which the drum head would never perceive. Likewise, you can't smack a spherical drum unless you're smacking it from the fourth dimension; we are in the third. Matthew McConaughey (Cooper) was essentially doing the dot product between himself and the rest of space-time (everything, the universe?) when he interacted with Murphy's room from inside the tesseract (5th dimension). If anyone cares to help me out and explain this whole 5th dimension thing a little more, it would be appreciated. Moving on, I was also curious about the equation that Dr. Brand and Murphy are trying to solve on Earth. The premise of this equation was to enable humans to understand and control gravity, but how could that even be possible? For the most part, since this within the realm of theoretical physics, this was left up to speculation. However, I did find it interesting to note a one of the ideas that I found, since it made the most sense to me. So the basic idea was that Murphy and Brand were trying to unify the concepts of gravity and Newton's laws with theories of quantum mechanics and the dimensions. Murphy and Brand were trying to use the fifth dimension to learn about and control gravity in the third dimension. The idea, as physicist Kip Thorne suggests in his book The Science of Interstellar, is that Murphy was able to locally reset Newton's gravitational constant (G), in effect shutting off Earth's gravity so small rockets could launch the space stations into space and toward Saturn. The Earth, obviously, would not make it. Since most of this is theoretical, as a lot quantum physics is, there are bound to be discrepancies with existing theories. It happens to be one of those concepts that is still open to discussion and frequently debated about.
3. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 8: "Risky Business"

It's everybody's favorite physics problem: the elevator! One does not learn mechanics without encountering the elevator problem (as far as I know). This is an interesting, sort of different take on it though. http://www.cbs.com/shows/scorpion/video/46616DDC-D143-4956-909B-9B31759797B6/scorpion-i-love-machines/ I'll be honest, the first I saw this I had no idea why Walter and Toby were tying their belts to the elevator bars. But it all makes sense about 5 seconds later when a rather...well....happy Happy stopped the elevator very suddenly. The belts looped around their arms and the elevator bars keep the duo from a painful collision with the ceiling of the elevator, a fate their captors cannot avoid. By why do they slam into the top of the elevator when its acceleration is downward, why don't they hit the ground instead? Let's start with what we know about elevators. So this is pretty nifty! We are looking at the "accelerating downward" one. What we know is that while the elevator accelerates downward, the net force on the person is actually upward. This occurs due to the support force of the cable holding the total weight of the person and the elevator. We know from this that the net force (F=ma) on the person is total support force minus the force of gravity on the system. Therefore the net force on the person is less than their actual weight (thus the idea of weighing less in a downward accelerating elevator). What does this have to do with our problem from the episode? Well, we know from looking at this that person doesn't actually float (as much as I'd like that to happen) when the elevator moves down, but the contact force between the person and the floor of the elevator has lessened since the normal/net force on the person is less. Now we bring in the idea of inertia. The human body, in this case will want to stay at rest with in the elevator, so we are not seeing the people accelerate upward but rather the their bodies attempting to stay in place the elevator floor "falls out" from under them (so to speak). Their bodies will attempt to remain still as the elevator moves downward in short bursts and thus they are thrown into the ceiling. Well, Walter and Toby aren't, they have their belts. Although, I do wonder how they did not break an arm or something. Anyways, that's all I've got to say, so thanks for reading!
4. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 7: "Father's Day"

Drones! Yes, the flying machines with four propellers that are all too popular these days surfaced in an episode of Scorpion. I thought this might be a cool opportunity to examine the physics of how drones fly. We never get a good look at the drone in the episode, but I do know that its suppose to look like a bird (Sylvester calls it "Bird-Droney"). However, for the sake of this post, I'm going to the discuss the quad-rotor model of a drone (recreational drones). They usually look something like this: When it comes to the physics of how these things fly, we turn to our good friend Newton and his laws. Guess which law? Yeah, the second one. In case anyone forgot (though I trust you all know this one by now) F=ma. The other fundamental concepts in place here are that velocity (v) is equal position (x) over time (t) or v= dx/dt [in other words velocity is the derivative of position with respect to time] and that, similarly, acceleration (a) is equal to dv/dt [or the derivative of velocity with respect to time/ velocity over time]. First of all, the flight is- for the most part and not accounting for weather and other variables- stable because the force generated by the rotation each of the propellers (which lifts the drone) is coming from four equally space out sources. So now that we know we can lift the drone, how do change it's speed? Here's where Newton comes in. Given F=ma, a=dv/dt, and that m (mass) is constant, the only way to change acceleration and thus velocity, is to vary the force. To vary the force, the propellers have to rotate faster to generate a greater lift force. Since v=dx/dt as well, if vary force and thereby vary velocity, we also change the position (x). There's also the idea that acceleration is the second derivative of position (x) and so from F=ma, varying force also changes the position in that way too. If add a force in the opposite direction, for example, we reduce the acceleration and eventually stop or turn the drone. This my fairly basic interpretation of some of the research I found. If you want some more information check out this place: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15973405&postcount=69 Also, the Scorpion episode can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSzIK2RD4QU (the quality is wierd, but its the only one I can find. The drone is referenced multiple times so you'll stumble upon it eventually!) That's all I've got, thanks for reading!
5. ## Yes, The One That Looks Like A Cannonball

The throwing saga continues! This post is all about shot put (the one that looks like throwing a cannonball), my other event. In this a event, throwers compete to see who can launch a weighted metal ball (8 lbs for girls, 12 lbs for guys) the farthest distance. This fairly basic projectile motion, but a lot of people struggle with it. So, here goes: Actually, I lied. This is slightly more complex projectile motion since, as the diagram shows, the release point in a height (h) off of the ground (not on the ground) which changes out equations quite a bit. However, we know the equation of a projectile in free flight: So this is very helpful. Now, we want to figure out the angle the will create the maximum distance. A basic knowledge of physics and/or trig will tell us 45 degrees should be the optimum angle of projection. Any higher or shorter and the distance begins to shrink. The following data certainly agrees with that assertion: If the optimum is around 45 degrees and we know this, why is it so hard for us to throw an 8 lb ball a good distance. A lot of throwers have the issue of completely removing the angle of projection altogether. In doing so, they release straightforward and the distance travelled by the shot is dramatically decreased. The lack of angle is due mostly to the inability of arm muscles to support a shot put (although that means they're holding it wrong). So what does shot put actually look like? Ok, not that fast, but you get the idea. For more info, check out Http://www.people.brunel.ac.uk/~spstnpl/BiomechanicsAthletics/shotput.htm (this where I got the data and the diagrams!) That's all I've got! Thanks for checking this out!

8. ## Doctor Who: The T.A.R.D.I.S.

So I've realized that with all the posts I've done on Doctor Who, I never actually looked at the theory behind how the T.A.R.D.I.S. can actually travel through time. There have actually been studies into how a time-travelling space might work in this universe and the findings have led physicists to believe it is theoretically possible for a T.A.R.D.I.S. to exist and to function as it does on the show in our universe. The research paper is called Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime (see what they did there?) and it was written by a pair of physicists named Ben Tippet and David Tsang. Tippet and Tsang proposed a spacetime geometry in which retrograde time travel, travelling back and forth along one's own timeline, is possible. A spacetime geometry is when spacetime- the fabric of the universe (where everything has happened, happens, and will happen in the future)- is arranged in a certain pattern. This is a fairly complex topic; however to put it simply, space exists of three dimensions (X,Y,Z) and time creates a fourth dimension. There are many theories as to how this spacetime geometry might be structured- the most famous being the Euclidean and Minkowski space. In order for retrograde time travel to be possible, spacetime geometry must be structured in a way such that the time dimension curves around and back in on itself. This spacetime structure- called closed timelike curve or CTC- would theoretically allow one to hop from their current space and time to another space and time (i.e. the idea of the "time votex"- basically a wormhole- that the T.A.R.D.I.S. flies through). Essentially the T.A.R.D.I.S. would create its own sort of bubble containing a closed timelike curve, which it would use to travel through time and space. So that's essentially what the universe would have to look like for the T.A.R.D.I.S. to exist. Given the vastness of the universe and how long it has and will exist, there actually is a possible these conditions already exist somewhere and that a race like the Timelords already exists out there too. So that's about it, thanks for taking the time to read this. If you're interesting in learn more you can find Traversal Achronal Retrograde Domains In Timespace by Tippet and Tsang or you can check The Blue Box White Paper, which takes a more basic approach to the concept; both of these papers should be online if you search for the title.
9. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 20: "Crossroads"

Thanks? I can split it into two posts if that would make it better.
10. ## The Big Bang Theory Season 3 Episode 10: "The Gorilla Experiment"

Yes, I'm adding another show! The other day I was watching a newer episode of the Big Bang Theory when I realized that there could be some good things to talk about in this show. After a bit a research, I was definitely right about that. So let's start here: So, Sheldon- a super smart astrophysicist- is trying to teach Penny- an average human with no knowledge of physics- about some basic physics concepts. One such concept is Newton's equations for gravity and gravitational force, or Newton's Law for Universal Gravitation. I should start this by saying that he his referring objects falling a vacuum, not in regular space. The equation he writes on the board is Fg=(GMm)/(r2), where G= universal gravitation constant (6.67x10-11), M=mass of the planet, m=mass of the object, and r=radius of orbit. We also know from Newton's Second Law that Fg=ma, where m=mass of the object and a=acceleration of the object. Setting those equal to one another, since both are equation to Fg, yields the following. (GMm)/(r2)= ma => a=(GM)/(r2) => a=g But wait, there's more! Another known concept is that g= (GM)/(r2), where g is the acceleration due to gravity on a given planet (usually Earth). So lets add that above (see the bold letters). Once he works this out, Sheldon asks Penny what this means we know. For one, it means that the object is accelerating towards the planet's center of gravity (downward) since it is being acted on by the force of the planets gravitational field. It also means that the object is accelerating due to the force of gravity of the planet it is on or above and that this acceleration is uninterrupted. If a=g exactly there are no other forces on the object as it accelerates. An force in the upward direction (opposite the acceleration) would slow down (decrease) the acceleration of the object and added downward force would increase. Therefore if a=g, there is no other forces besides the force of gravity acting on the object. This can happen because the object is considered to falling in vacuum, which means that mass and size don't affect acceleration, there are no other forces acting on the object and thus a=g is possible. Ok! So there's some pretty neat, albeit basic, uses for some of Sir Isaac Newton's laws. Other than that, enjoy the rest of the clip (its quite funny) and thanks for reading!

12. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 19: "Young Hearts Spark Fire" (Part II)

As I mentioned in the previous post, here is part II: the wildfire. Honestly, I just wanted to know if it is even physically possible for that many slow-moving people to out run a spreading wildfire, especially in high winds. Here's a short clip from the episode showing the spreading fire: http://www.cbs.com/shows/scorpion/video/45699904-3F02-8272-59C1-482673FE0BEF/scorpion-fire-is-getting-close/ So the first thing I noticed was that Sylvester (the man who was on his own dragging that other guy) was walking pretty much the entire time and he started at the epicenter of the fire. The other group stood still for probably 10-15 minutes deciding how to get across the ravine. However, the group started on the outskirts of the fire in the first place so they had more time escape. So really, the question I'm trying to answer is could Sylvester (and the injured man he had to drag) possibly out run the fire? The average maximum speed of a wildfire varies from 9 mph to 12.5 mph (16 km/h to 20 km/h). The average human can run at speeds of up 15 mph for short periods of time, which would mean that Sylvester could have outrun the fire that way, if it was a normal wildfire. However, there are multiple reasons why this becomes impossible. For one the added weight of the man Sylvester has to pull creates a force in the opposite direction of his movement, slowing him down. Also, the heavy wind- at least 50 knots (~57.5 mph)- accelerates the wildfire's spreading speed meaning this wildfire could be moving significantly faster than most humans could run period. So then how did Sylvester and his friend survive? He takes advantage the titanium door that they been using as sled for the man he was pulling. Titanium is- as Sylvester points out- a low conductor of heat. This mean that when the fire rolls over them the heat is not absorb well and thus does not hurt them. As for the metal of the pipe they are in, I'm not sure what it is but one can imagine we are to assume that it too is a low conductor of heat. Anyways, that concludes my exploration of this episode. Thanks for reading!
13. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 19: "Young Hearts Spark Fire" (Part I)

Ok so I know its been a while, but I'm back! This episode is about the Scorpion Team trying to save a group of lost hikers and getting caught in a wildfire in the process. http://www.cbs.com/shows/scorpion/video/60C5E5EA-F07C-9BE2-1635-482673FE41E0/scorpion-we-re-going-to-die/ I'll start here, with the falling helicopter. Helicopters fly through the use of propellers. As the propellers are rotated at increasing speeds , the air flowing over them generates lift. Because the the propellers rely on ability to create air flow to maintain this lift, high wind speeds create dangerous flying conditions. There are multiple types of wind that create issues for pilots. Headwind, wind that flows opposite to the path of the helicopter's motion, slams into the helicopterâ€™s nose and slows it down. On the other hand, a tailwind generates force in the same direction raising the helicopter's speed. Just like headwind, crosswinds that blow across the path are also equally dangerous to the helicopter. Ok, now back to the show: First of all, I thought he was suppose to aim away from the trees? Anyways, given that helicopters average in weight from 1,000 to 10,000 pounds, lets go on the low end and say this one is 1,000 pounds. If each of the men in the plane average 180 pounds and each woman averages 140 (these are the approximate average weights for adult males and females), that's an extra 1,000 pounds. So that means we have at least 2,000 pounds (~8896.4 N) of weight falling from at least 500 feet, the amount of force this would generate on impact would most likely kill at least one of them, if not all of them. Luckily, the helicopter propellers try to maintain flight as it falls, meaning the helicopter doesn't fall straight down. The angle of the fall reduces the speed at which the helicopter hits the ground- or the trees in this case. I suppose this might be why the tree branches did not break when the helicopter landed on them. The helicopter did eventually fall, a few moments later after the team had barely escaped. Ok well that's all for now. I might have to make a second post about this episode, since I never got to the wildfire part. Thanks for reading!
14. ## AP Physics C Midterm

Ok, so today is my midterm and I've been studying and looking over my notes and everything and I think I'm about ready. The test is going to be an actual AP Mechanics exam I guess, so I've done a few practice ones and such to get ready for it. I'm hoping that I can get at least a 4 on this thing. This going to be a short post for now but I plan to update this later after the exam so I can complain talk about it. I guess that's all I have to say for now. Wish me luck! OK, that's one exam down! I think the multiple choice was a little rough (and by rough I mean there some questions that I completely guessed on because I had no clue) BUT I think the free response went better. There was a question on certain topic I hadn't studied (it was air resistance) so now I know what to study next time. Turns out I knew a lot more than I thought I did about mechanics! All in all, great learning experience! Thanks for stopping by!
15. ## Doctor Who 2011 Christmas Special: "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe"

Hello again! This one I had to talk about because there is just so much wrong with the beginning that I don't even know where to start. Scratch that, yes I do. Let's start with the Doctor falling out of a spaceship exploding in orbit, that seems like a good place to me. I'm not sure if the Doctor has special lungs that don't need air (pretty sure that is not the case) but he survived for like 5 minutes hurtling towards Earth in space with no atmosphere. Than he reaches out into space and tries to swim to a nearby space suit. Both left the exploding space ship with the same velocity and since there is nothing in space for the Doctor to use to accelerate himself forward (there is even air so he should have died really) he never should have reached it at all but he does. Up until this point, the show isn't doing to well with physics. But this time he actually makes a crater! If you remember one of early posts about how the TARDIS does not make an impact when it strikes the Earth then you'll know this is an improvement by them. They actually showed that the force of an object strike the Earth from that far up in space would be enough to dent the surface of the planet. Realistically though, he would still be dead- space suit or not. There is no way that the space suit he got on could have reduced the force of his impact enough (or at all) to cause it not to shatter every bone in his body. In fact, shouldn't he have burnt up in atmosphere? The resistance of the atmosphere against the Doctor should have caused him to catch fire like a rocket re-entering Earth's atmosphere. Maybe this is morbid but the fact remains the same, he should have died like three times. But this is a show so they cannot kill a main character for the sake of physics. Or maybe this is just time lord stuff that we humans could never understand. The writers on this show have a great excuse. Anyways, as always thanks for stopping by!
16. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 13: "Kill Screen"

Ok, so this the best I can find, go to about 2:00 and watch that little bit (where he is working on the rocket). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9A0Dev7DQw I thought this could be a fun one to use to talk about rockets! Ok, I guess I'm more talking about a question I got wrong on a recent test. So the question was why do objects in a rocket that is in orbit around Earth appear weightless? I've done some research and I'm ready to give it another try. As it turns out, for a rocket or space station in orbit around Earth, there is an acceleration downward. So technically, the space ship is falling toward Earth as it remains in orbit. Since the the person typically has the same acceleration as the space ship and the space is also moving around the Earth, they feel weightless. Moving on, some basic rocket physics! A rocket obtains thrust through the idea of action and reaction (Newton's third law). As the rocket propellant ignites, it experiences a very large acceleration and leaves the back of the rocket (as exhaust) at a very high velocity. This backwards acceleration of the exhaust exerts a force on the rocket that pushes it in the opposite direction, causing the rocket to accelerate forward. Yay! Okay so that's about it! Thanks for reading!
17. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 15: "Forget Me Nots"

I cannot even begin to understand how this ever worked but somehow in this episode the Scorpion team ran a significant amount of electricity through one persons head and basically turned him super human. You are probably wondering where the physics comes into this: he pretty much bounced off and over a moving car to chase somebody down. I couldn't really find a video or an image but it is still free to watch on CBS.com (http://www.cbs.com/shows/scorpion/video/DE90E9B6-555F-4C3B-10AD-FE20D5CFE4A9/scorpion-forget-me-nots/). The scene I'm referring too happens at about 20:00 so you can skip to there. And this is the guy I'm referring too: (That's him getting hooked up to the electricity, the words are something someone else added but I couldn't find another image). He shows no sign of being effected by running into a moving car and it could not have been fully stopped in that short amount of time. In fact, you can see it still moving in slow-motion as he jumps on it with one foot. I have not yet decided if I really think this is possible. I mean he landed on top of the car not in front of it so he is not really being impacted by the car which would explain why he does not fly forward. And it seems like his foot caves part of the car's hood in, which means he landed with enough force to get a foot hold which allowed him to jump forward and consider his pursuit. What I do not get is how he jumped at the right time to pull this off. I suppose if the car was moving slow enough he could estimate but it is hard to tell if the show is going in slow motion or not so I cannot be sure. Quite honestly, I'm up in the air on this one. Adrenaline is an incredible thing, people have been known to do seemingly inhuman things while running on adrenaline. As far as physics goes, I'm calling this a maybe- because there are a lot of factors to consider (such as the car's speed) that I simply do not know. Ok so maybe the man was a super human, maybe not but I'm going to leave for you to watch and decide. Thanks for reading!
18. ## Doctor Who Season 3 Episode 9: "Human Nature"

I like this episode because it has a really cool example of projectile motion. (Read the next line BEFORE you play the video please or you might be a bit confused). Skip to around 1:15 in this video and watch (this is the only video I could find it in) and you'll see. The Doctor (or John Smith in this one, he has forgotten who he actually in this episode) manages to throw a cricket ball in the exact way that it hits a stack of poles that fall over and cause a brick to launch and hit a metal jug that stops the women from push her baby- inadvertently- under the falling piano. Yeah ok, so it is a little far-fetched but physically it is possible. I do not know any exact distances or times but with the help of 1-D Kinematic equations we could calculate the exact velocity and angle at which the Doctor had to throw the object for it to the poles the way that it did. One could also calculate exactly what angle the brick flew from when it left the wooden plank that caused it to hit the metal jug. You only need these four equations. (Where Vo= intial velocity, Vf= final velocity, a= acceleration, t= time, Xo= intial x-position and Xf= final x-position) Normally I used X= Xf - Xo instead but these equations work just fine. When a projectile is fired at an angle, as it is in this case, the velocity is split into vector components. Then there is essentially two problems, the motion in the X-plane (horizontal) and the motion in the Y-plane (vertical). The one measurement that remains constant in both is the time it takes for the projectile to land. There really is not enough information here for me to able to calculate anything but the first I would do is figure out the angle and the initial speed (it would have to be measured somehow). If I had those values I would look at the Y-plane because if the projectile is on Earth than you ALWAYS know its acceleration in the Y-plane (g= 9.81 m/s2). I suppose I would have to time the ball in this case since I have no way- at this point- to find a final velocity. Than the first equation could help me find Vf in the Y-plane. If we assume- which is never good- that it landed at the same angle (or try to find that actual angle that it land with some how) than we could use trig find the final velocity in the X-plane. All together we initial X velocity and the measured time we could find the total x distance and the acceleration in the X-plane. That involves ALOT of assumptions in this case, but as far as this type of motion goes, this clip from Doctor Who actually does fit the bill. Ok, that would be it for quick basic projectile motion lesson! Thanks for reading!
19. ## Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 10: "In the Forest of the Night"

From this episode I get to talk about something pretty neat: solar flares. Yes, the plot of this episode revolves around a magical forest covering the Earth over night in order to save it from a massive solar flare. Confused yet? Solar flares are massive explosions on the surface of the Sun that release a significant amount of energy in multiple forms at once. A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released. So, one of the most important types is the release of electro-magnetic energy. So while it looks like a huge spike of fire is leaving the sun, by the time a solar flare reaches Earth the most important issue to watch for is the impact of the electro-magnetic energy. What is really cool though is that Earth actually has its own protection- an actual force field that dampens or repels the effects of solar flares. It ends up looking something like this. Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field actually help protect from the impact of solar flares. These are called Van Allen belts- they are radiation belts that act as part of Earth's magnetic field- and when the stream of high energy particles meet Earth's magnetic field they are push along these belts towards the north and south poles. Sometimes these flares can cause geomagnetic storms though which have the potential to cause some issues on Earth. For example, in Quebec, Canada in 1989, a rather large solar flare interrupted the power grid, exploding transformers and causing major black outs. There is also the fact that these solar flares can cause damage to satellites in orbit around Earth: they can be hit by high energy particles or damaged by a high currents caused by geomagnetic storms. Even so, from Earth these solar flares actual look pretty cool. So now the question is, did Doctor Who get it right? The answer is unfortunately not. What is a magical forest of trees going to do against electro-magnetic energy? This is what the show did: By the time a solar flare reaches Earth, it just isn't a fire ball anymore and so this not what would actually happen. Ok so that's all! I've actual learned quite a bit about solar flares in order to write so that's really cool! Thanks for reading!
20. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 14: "Charades"

There are just a few bad physics moments in this episode and so I thought it would be a good one to talk about. Ok, so this is the scene: As this girl (Happy) is climbing a glass building using nothing but gloves with suction cups on them (which is one of the things I'm not sure made sense) she starts slipping. Meanwhile the two guys on the ground (Toby and Sylvester) are having this conversation. Toby: Sylvester, think of something! Sylvester: Okay, okay! The force of gravity is 9.81 meters per second squared. If she swings hard to her left, then her right hand would completely disengage from the building. And for 2/10 of a second she won't be attached to anything.But she can use that time to get to the balcony or plummet to her death. The first issue (you might have caught it) is that Sylvester says the FORCE of gravity is 9.81 m/s2 when that measurement is ACCELERATION due to gravity. In actuality, the force that Happy creates is her weight times 9.81 (Force= mass x acceleration) which is much greater than Sylvester originally says. The bigger issue is the fact that Happy can cling to the side of the building using nothing but suction cups on her hands and than swing like that as she is falling. Those would have to be VERY strong suction cups in order to overcome the force of Happy's weight downward and hold her against the building. Plus, Happy most likely does not have the upper body strength to hold her entire weight as she climbs up the building like that and she never really used her feet to help her at all. However, I think the worst one is the fact that as the suction cups are slipping, Happy is still able to use them to swing like that on the building. The hard torque (the rotational force of her movement) to the right would be enough to dislodge immediately and she would have fallen off in the wrong direction. Before she does what you can see in the image above, Happy shows that BOTH gloves are slipping meaning that they no longer could maintain a strong enough force to hold her against the building. Therefore, her rotational movement would not have been able to maintain itself for that long and she never should have been able to throw herself onto the balcony like that. OK, I know that wasn't the best explanation and I didn't have a lot of images but this show is really hard to find stuff from this show because it is really new. Thanks for reading!

22. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 1: "Pilot"

(I'm not sure if she has been in a post yet so this is one of the Doctor's Companions and her name is Rose) Anyways, I'm working on a post about the Doctor who Christmas special but for now I'm going try another one about Scorpion! Ok so I'm not saying the physics are wrong (ok, maybe not COMPLETELY wrong) but lets just talk this out and you can decide for yourself. What really gets me is the connection between the two cords in the video, you can see it if you pause the video around 1:20. It is COMPLETELY vertical. There is no way the connection is strong to hold together against the force of the plane pulling upward as it begins to climb again. Even as Paige moves the computer upward the plane would have created much too strong of an upward force against the downward pull of the lower connector. The cords SHOULD have separated. There's also the fact that when she gets pulled forward by the laptop the cords stay together even though one is pulling Paige's weight and the other is being dragged upward by a plane. I also find it a bit strange that Paige can stand up in a car without a top driving at speeds in excess of 100 mph and not be the least bit wavered. She shows absolutely no signs of being affected by the force of the air pushing back on her as the car moves forward. She stretches in higher to hold on to the lap top. With the amount of force created by the air surrounding the car and the lack of anything to keep her grounded, she probably should have flown out of the car and landed on the runway behind it. Oh well, I guess that is just TV for you, they could never kill a main character in the first episode in the name of accuracy. Anyway, thanks for reading!
23. ## Scorpion Season 1 Episode 9: "Rogue Element"

Ok so I have to apologize, this blog is no longer only Doctor Who. I've realized that, unfortunately, I'm running out of ideas with Doctor Who so while I think up some more I've decided to branch out a bit and write about the brand new CBS drama Scorpion. It's about a team of geniuses and I've seen physics in practically every episode. That brings me to the episode I'm discussing. This one is the most recent and caught a little basic physics in it. So in this scene Walter- the main character and genius- is trying to figure out exactly where the car beneath must be positioned in order to allow him to fall into it from the side of a building without injuring himself. It ends up looking a little something like this. Yeah, he falls right through the sunroof and manages to climb into the front seat unharmed. Even better, before he jumped he actually calculating out exactly how he had to fall. He said "You know what, I'm 30 feet above concrete! Give me time to think!...Quiet! I'm doing my calculations. Pull your car up two-and-a-half feet. Create a freefall, 9.8 meters per seconds squared. Hurry!... 4,000 newtons of energy to break a leg. I should be okay...". Okay, to be honest, the first I noticed was when he said he would free fall at 9.8 m/s2. It's pretty basic physics, 9.8 m/s2 is the acceleration due to gravity on Earth. The next thing he does is calculate exactly how much of a force it will take to break a leg and how much force he will create when he lands on the car. First, I'm rather disappointed that they had him say "4,000 newtons of energy" since newtons are the basic unit of measurement for force, but I digress. Anyways, there is no way he weighs 899.24 lbs (4000 N converted to lbs) so this goes beyond just the force caused when he falls to the ground when influenced by Earth's gravitational pull. So its more likely that he is worried about impulse. The 30 foot fall would mean he would pick up speed as he feel. For example, if the fall took 4 seconds, and he started from rest (0 m/s), than (4 s)*(9.8 m/s2) = 39.2 m/s would be his final velocity on impact with the ground. Now its most likely he is concerned about the impulse when he hits the ground. Impulse is the change in momentum (mass*velocity) and also force*time. Given an initial velocity of 0, this would mean that the force when he hits the ground is equal to (mvfinal)/(t). Given a considerably small time of impact, its quite possible to great a force great enough to break his leg from that height. So how does he fix that? He has his friends move the car up so that when he falls, he falls through the sun roof and onto the center console. Not only does this shrink the falling distance a bit, but cars also have shock absorbers which would absorb some of the energy to create a quick up and down motion before bringing the car to rest. Thus, impact time increases and altogether the force on his body is reduced, preventing injury from the fall. Altogether pretty cool! Don't worry, I'm not giving up on Doctor Who I just don't want to run out of ideas yet. Real quick, the first gif is from Doctor Who, the second Scorpion and I feel the need to point- as a disclaimer- that I own none of the images that I use and I never claimed to. Anyways, thanks for reading!
24. ## Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 12: "Death in Heaven"

It seems fitting to close out my tenth and final blog for the first quarter by talking about the season finale of the 8th season of Doctor Who. In this episode the Twelve Doctor gets thrown out of moving plane and yet he still manages to call his T.A.R.D.I.S. in mid-fall. The Doctor would have been falling at a fairly quick rate, he would have been in free fall. Obviously, since he is able to catch up to the T.A.R.D.I.S., the T.A.R.D.I.S. is moving at a smaller speed. That would explain the fact that he can catch up the T.A.R.D.I.S. but it still does not mean he can get the key in the lock and turn. First of all, he would crash into the T.A.R.D.I.S. quite hard- given the speed differential- rather than float next to it. For this to be avoided the T.A.R.D.I.S. needed to speed up (its not like the Doctor can really slow himself down) quite significantly and yet there are no changes to T.A.R.D.I.S. at all while its in flight. Somehow though, it slows down enough for the Doctor to slide the key in and get inside. But where would he go once he is inside? He still be moving at the speed he was prior, except now in a confined space. Perhaps the T.A.R.D.I.S. upped the gravity inside the itself in order to slow him down or maybe he managed to land in the swimming pool. One thing is for sure, the writers are once again stretching the boundaries of physics. Ok so this is really short with no visuals because I cannot find any yet (I really wish I could). I'll edit this again later. Edit: I found a video clip of what I'm talking about. You can click the play button below to watch it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbdjmCa1N4I.
25. ## Doctor Who Season 4 Episode 13: "The Stolen Earth"

The title says it all. This episode is all about the Earth being stolen right out of orbit and out of the universe. Just imagine, if you were in a space above the planet, hearing "The Earth is gone!" and seeing nothing where your home planet used to be. But how could that happen? How is that even possible? In theory, it is possible but certainly not by human action (but then again it was not human action on the show). To occur naturally, an asteroid of large enough mass would need to pass by the Earth to pull just a small bit out of orbit and then the Earth would slowly move away from the Sun (if pulled in that direction). But in this episode the entire planet is moved quite far, and quite quickly. Even though that itself is impossible, the Earth would never survive without the Sun and Moon. Without the Sun, temperatures would plummet, daylight would cease to exist and humanity would only have a little while left to exist. All celestial objects in orbit around the Sun move fast enough to be in a constant state of free-fall towards it. That means that if the planets were to suddenly stop moving, they would immediately be pulled towards the Sun and fall into it. If the Sun were to disappear, anything orbiting it-planets,asteroids,comets,etc.- would retain its forward motion and, rather than fall towards the now nonexistent Sun, they would each fly off in a straight line into space. Think of it like a ball on string swung in a circular above your head. If let go of the string the ball flies off in a straight, tangent line from the last point it was at in the circular motion. That is essentially what anything orbiting the sun- if it disappeared- would do it as it they would all lack the central force holding them in orbit. Well, that's all for now. Thanks for stopping by!
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