When "Speed" appeared in theaters back in 1994, lots of physics classes took it upon themselves to figure out if a bus could in fact jump over the unfinished bridge in the movie. Taking into account the speed of the bus, the angle of the ramp, the distance to clear and a few other things, it turned out that the bus would have made it.
Now, Popular Science has applied the laws of physics to a scene (watch below) from the upcoming "Star Trek" movie. The scene shows a young Kirk jumping out of his car before plunging off a cliff. He only survives by gripping the sandy ground until coming to a stop. But given all the clues in the scene, would Kirk survive in the real world?
The car's speedometer shows that the vehicle was moving at 80 mph (36 meters per second). The car appears to be about 30 meters from the edge when it stars skidding. Assuming that Kirk has a mass of around 50 kg and jumped out of the car at 4 m/s, it means that Kirk would have had to exert a force of 877 lbs with his fingers to stop himself from flying off the cliff.
Seems very unrealistic, but it's Kirk after all. For all the juicy physics formulas, check out the full article.
You all have way too much time on your hands to go through this much analysis on only a sample of the subject in question. If you're going to go all scientific on us WP, at least back up your sh*t.
James.Speedwrites: on December 21st, 2008 at 10:15:00 PM
Well first of all, this is a movie trailer. Until the actual film is released can you determine a thing like this. Now, I find this article interesting, but come on now, its a movie. It isnt real. He probs cant make the jump in reality, but that the thing, that isnt reality, is a movie!
ubermonkeywrites: on December 21st, 2008 at 10:52:26 PM
Maybe he was wearing some sort of anti gravity device. Maybe the police officer initiated a tractor beam. Maybe he's just a bad ass. This isn't a real life doc*mentary, it's Star Trek.
PrevalentMind, WP is merely informing us of this physics project being conducted by a group not related at all to WP. Hell, they even give a link to the full article. Please read the entire thing next time instead of going all gung-ho and making an ass of yourself.
Besides, they seem to have forgotten to take into account the additional weight of Kirk's massive iron balls.
JakeVermontwrites: on December 22nd, 2008 at 1:55:53 AM
Uhm Dudes?? Thats a movie who da f*ck cares about physics in a movie i took advanced course in physics at school and still havin some in college damn it! Who cared when John McLane jumped down from a Jet? Or James Bond jumped off the cliff into a flying plane? remember goldeneye? who cares?? If u want to see correct physics go out and do some experiments yourself :D if u want correct physics in a movie go watch a lovemovie ;)
if it was just about the speed thing it'd be a great article. but in like popular science here its just an ok thing to read. i'd like to see more on the speed thing though
minkowskiwrites: on December 22nd, 2008 at 3:02:29 AM
Force is the product of mass and acceleration, and momentum is the product of mass and velocity. That car had a lot of momentum, and so did Kirk. He would have to propel himself very hard away from the car to avoid falling over. Not damned likely. I noticed this the first time I watched the trailer and wondered if a movie, supposedly a favorite with the math and science nerds, would really take such gross liberties with physics. I guess so. Looks to me like the new Star trek has falen far from the Roddenberry tree, less about ideas and characterization and social interaction, and more about, as someone else so eloquently said, fighting and f*cking.
minkowskiwrites: on December 22nd, 2008 at 3:03:52 AM
"at least back up your sh*t." Have you ever heard of mathematics, mo-ron?
minkowskiwrites: on December 22nd, 2008 at 3:05:01 AM
by the way, that's why it's called POPULAR science. This isn't Nature doing the research. jeez.
It's a movie. I'm glad Popular Science is on top of this, otherwise I may lose sleep at night.
minkowskiwrites: on December 22nd, 2008 at 5:45:22 AM
I just wish they'd pirate a copy of MathType so I dont have to look at their ugly equations. Or can they not embed gifs?
MRW007writes: on December 22nd, 2008 at 8:39:32 AM
who cares! this movie looks stupid anyway.
Ronsaucewrites: on December 22nd, 2008 at 10:41:16 AM
WTF? The bus in Speed most certainly would NOT have made the jump...not even remotely close to it.
BurmaShavewrites: on December 22nd, 2008 at 10:45:16 AM
What I want to know is where are there canyons in Iowa?
minkowskiwrites: on December 22nd, 2008 at 2:40:54 PM
"What I want to know is where are there canyons in Iowa?" LOL. So true.
griffinkanewrites: on December 22nd, 2008 at 3:43:08 PM
I'm glad to see that scientists are putting their heads together to figure out such mind-boggling questions and not working on something drastically important. It's an effin' movie, how about you go out and find out if it's possible to survive a jump off a speeder bike like Luke in Return of the Jedi? Wrap your heads around that one.
DCJayhawk57writes: on December 23rd, 2008 at 11:55:36 AM
Most of you are overreacting to this. It's all for fun and in magazine Popular Science, so the authors of the article don't have "better things to do." IT'S THEIR f*ckING JOB TO DO THINGS LIKE THIS. This is how you get the lay person interested in science. Grow the hell up before you make idiotic comments on here. No wonder so many people are scientifically illiterate, because they have friends and family like a bunch of you *ssholes.
minkowskiwrites: on December 23rd, 2008 at 4:35:59 PM
Most of these idiots have never read a Popular Science mag their whole lame life. Much less Discover or Scientific American or Science News. lol.
Pepemanwrites: on December 23rd, 2008 at 7:38:45 PM
Wait, so are you telling me that this movie is NOT a doc*mentary ?!