# "Saruman's velocity is 69.5 m/s (155.5 mph) as he hits the spike."January 16, 2009 11:16 AM   Subscribe

From all the measurements and calculations, it's easy to deduce that the movie exaggerated the effects of a real dodgeball collision

Shocking. Simply shocking!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:20 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Ok, I'm going to do my best grouchy old guy and whine, "But when I was a kid..."

Really, lines like "Purring is heard from a car when the cart is injured, anxious, or just showing signs of contentment." would have gotten me seriously dinged, even in high school. Or maybe the teachers are just relying on spell-checkers, too.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:25 AM on January 16, 2009

I am not a physicist, but unless high school algebra has failed me the result of this equation should be negative not positive (from Superman stops a plane):

a = (0 m/s–268 m/s) / 29.721 s = 9.02 m/s2
posted by IndpMed at 11:30 AM on January 16, 2009

Clearly high school english did fail me, and I need some commas there.
posted by IndpMed at 11:31 AM on January 16, 2009

Dammit, *I* wanted to link to this site! But wait, we must have gotten it via different channels, since you didn't link to The Evolution of Gravity in Mario.
posted by DU at 11:37 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

I apologize on behalf of my field for the grammar on that site.
posted by 7segment at 11:39 AM on January 16, 2009

What is the force Superman exerts to stop a plane from crashing into the ground?

27,700 Midi-chlorians.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:47 AM on January 16, 2009

Yes yes, but what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

A European one.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:51 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Conclusion

Therefore, the force Superman exerts to stop a plane from crashing into the ground is 3,766,000 N, which is an incredibly large amount of force.

I feel no more enlightened at the end than I did at the beginning.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:01 PM on January 16, 2009

Man, nothing beats a good, creative test question in the sciences. Physics is especially ripe for such things. I only wish I knew how to answer them.
posted by absalom at 12:03 PM on January 16, 2009

3,766,000 N, which is an incredibly large amount of force.

I feel no more enlightened at the end than I did at the beginning.

Think of it as 3.766 meganewtons.
posted by DU at 12:13 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

I feel no more enlightened at the end than I did at the beginning.

Think of it as enough force to stop a plane from crashing.
posted by Memo at 12:18 PM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

3,766,000 N, which is an incredibly large amount of force.

I feel no more enlightened at the end than I did at the beginning.

Think about 1 N of force, multiplied 3,766,000 times.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:22 PM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]

I feel no more enlightened at the end than I did at the beginning.

Think of it.

Think of.

Think.

Now you are enlightened.
posted by DU at 12:24 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Everything I've read leads me to believe that Newton was of medium height and build. Lets say 170cm tall, 70kg mass.

3.8 Mega Newtons would be 285,000 tons and he would be about 270 meters tall.

Imagine an Isaac Newton taller than the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, weighting more than 10 aircraft carriers. That is the kind of superhero we would need to beat Superman with science.
posted by dirty lies at 12:29 PM on January 16, 2009 [14 favorites]

3,766,000 N, which is an incredibly large amount of force.

I feel no more enlightened at the end than I did at the beginning.

Think of how full you feel when you eat like seven or eight Newtons.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:30 PM on January 16, 2009 [6 favorites]

How does he exert the force on the nose of the plane without the whole plane collapsing, or without punching a hole through the fuselage? One of the best moments in comic book history is where Gladiator picks up the Baxter Building by one corner and Reed figures out that there's something else going on there because the building would collapse under its own weight if it was held up by a corner like that.

For whatever reason, I love thinking about extreme and boundary conditions of materials as would be seen by superheroes.

One of the best quotes from the otherwise boring and unintrospective Superman comes from the animated Justice League:

"I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard. Always taking constant care not to break something, to break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control, even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't you, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose, and show you just how powerful I really am."
posted by Eideteker at 12:52 PM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]

3,766,000 N = 27,239,531.026 poundals, if that helps.
posted by malocchio at 1:12 PM on January 16, 2009

the speed of a retired Charles Barkley?

Depends on if he is on his way to a BJ or not....
posted by SirOmega at 1:50 PM on January 16, 2009

I had never seen that girl cliff-jumping thing before. Does anyone know anything further about that? Some rudimentary physics might have been of some use for her.
posted by maxwelton at 1:55 PM on January 16, 2009

3,766,000 N, which is an incredibly large amount of force.

I feel no more enlightened at the end than I did at the beginning.

Imagine each Newton is a small sphere the size of a marble. 3,766,000 of these would result in a pile of marbles so large it could stop a falling plane.
posted by benzenedream at 3:26 PM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

That's a big Twinkie.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:30 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here I thought that the question was what is the force Superman uses, and not a boring old "how much force?"

I wanted to see a student speculate on what would make that power possible, that is to say, how does superman fly?

I'm very disappointed.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:02 PM on January 16, 2009

Who needs Superman when we have the Hudson River? Clearly a softer landing than Clark's outstretched arms.
posted by quanta and qualia at 6:08 PM on January 16, 2009

3.8 Mega Newtons would be 285,000 tons and he would be about 270 meters tall.

How much is that in Juice Newtons?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:18 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

"...purr at a range of between 20 and 50Hz." I'm not sure it's an evolutionary outcome....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:14 PM on January 16, 2009

How much is that in Juice Newtons?

19 mega Juices Newtons, or 57 kilo Waynes.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:30 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Under what circumstances in Superman dramatic in anyway if he is so damned powerful?
I picked up my kid's blocks today - wow!
posted by Smedleyman at 9:13 PM on January 16, 2009

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