Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mission Impossible 3: Physics Questions

     In the first scene I looked at Ethan throws a magnetic explosive and it arcs horizontally across a room and magnetically connects to a metal pipe. I would like to know if, even with a powerful super magnet, it would be possible for the explosive to connect to magnetically atract to the pipe from that distance?
     In order to solve this problem the quantities I would need would be the distance from Ethan to the pipe, how how hard Ethan could throw the bomb and how powerful the magnet (or comparable magnet) would be. 
     I can estimate the pipe was between 15 and 20 feet away. Additionally the average man can throw a baseball sized object, around 60mph. As far as the magnet is concerned, it was hard to pinpoint a definitive power for a super magnet that could be used. 

     The second scene that I wound analyze involves Ethan falling down the wall of the Vatican City and coming safely to a stop when the wire he was connected to snapped taut. I would like to know if Ethan could have safely stopped when the wire snapped taut.
    In order to figure if this could be done I would need to know the height of the wall and the speed Ethan was traveling. 
     The movie gives me the height of the wall at 60ft and Ethan's final velocity could be calculated using the time it took him to fall and the acceleration of gravity.
     Finally I would like to examine the scene when Ethan is swinging from one building to the other building's roof so that he can grab the Rabbit's Foot, before base jumping to safety. I want to know if he could perform the indicated swing from one building to the roof other.
    To find out if he could we would need the distance between the buildings as well at the height of both buildings.
    The movie provides all the needed quantities. The distance between the buildings is stated to be 27.55 meters. The height of the first building is 260 meters, while the second is 246 meters tall.

1 comment:

  1. You have posed some interesting questions, so good job spotting potential physics-related problems. You had some good guesses about quantities you might need to know to answer your questions, though you missed some things, too. Keep up the enthusiasm and keep practicing and I'm sure it will get easier.