Stories from physics booklet 2: Forces and motion

Message from author Richard Brock

The domain of forces and motion is rich in stories that can enhance physics teaching. The stories in this booklet are drawn from both the history of science and cutting-edge research. For example, you can read the story of how Clarence Birdseye (of frozen food fame) came to finance a stock market trader’s anti-gravity institute. Or, you can find out how the Tom and Jerry satellites precisely measure the Earth’s gravitational field.

Read about the forces exerted on shoelaces and on penguin poo

The stories about forces and motion cover a wide range of scales: from the smallest force ever measured to the bite strength of an extinct mega-piranha. You will read about the forces exerted on shoelaces, penguin poo and on henchmen in James Bond films. The booklet will tell you how physics can help you to avoid speeding tickets and how a manhole cover became one of the fastest man-made objects ever recorded.

I have compiled these booklets to provide short stories that you can add to your lessons alongside the conceptual content. When planning a lesson related to forces and motion, dip into the booklet to find stories related to the topic you are teaching that enrich your lessons and spark interest in physics.


Limit Less Campaign

Support our manifesto for change

The IOP wants to support young people to fulfil their potential by doing physics. Please sign the manifesto today so that we can show our politicians there is widespread support for improving equity and inclusion across the education sector.

Sign today