Forces and Motion

Forces in films and popular culture

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

A paper in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics considers: ‘The Viability of Coming in Like a Wrecking Ball’. The author estimates that the deceleration experienced by a wrecking ball will be around 288 g and concludes that: ‘it is clear that a human being cannot possess the characteristics of a wrecking ball without sustaining significant injury, and other objects should be sought as an analogy’.

Another paper, in the same journal, examines whether a character in the James Bond film Skyfall could shoot through a train coupling. The analysis suggests that, assuming no plastic deformation, the force of the bullet would be less than a third that required to break the steel coupling. Another Bond related paper analysed the motion of the ejector seat in the film Goldfinger and concluded that the device exerted a force of 1,930 N on the unfortunate henchman and it is unlikely that he suffered serious injury due to ejection.



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