Friday, January 22, 2010

R2-D2 flies against the laws of physics.

A professor from Southeastern Louisiana University has analyzed the mechanics of R2-D2 flying using his thrusters. Using a free-body diagram, set up all the forces (not Forces) acting on the droid as it flew through the air at an apparently constant velocity. Without acceleration, the sum of the forces must be zero. So Prof. Allain used gravity, air resistance, size, and angle of thrust to estimate the only unknown quantity remaining in the equation: mass. And how many kg is R2? Check the end of the article, but here's a hint: it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Oh my gosh! Something in Star Wars not making scientific sense? Shocking. Well, I guess it's no worse than the constantly changing lateral force applied by the floating house in Up on the walkers below. (Apparently, the folks at Pixar actually calculated how many balloons would be needed to supply sufficient vertical force, and after finding it took a kagillion balloons said, 'artistic license.')

1 comment:

  1. most movies do oppose the law of science...i think it's ok though for the sake of entertainment..way better than auction fantasy football