Sunday, September 6, 2015

Mission Impossible III

In Mission Impossible III, Tom Cruise has to retrieve The Rabbit's Foot from the bad guy in order to save his wife's life. In one of the many climatic scenes, he has to swing from a building that is 226 meters tall to the building the Rabbit's foot is located in, which is 162 meters tall. The two buildings are 47.55 meters apart. It took him approximately 20 seconds from the time he left the top of the building to the time he released himself from the rope onto the second building. Would he have been going fast enough just from jumping off the building to make the swing to the other building? 

My second question comes from the same scene. When Tom Cruise is jumping off the building and the rope runs out and becomes taut, would that have broken his spine? It takes more than 3000 newtons to fracture the cervical spine and become paralyzed. Tom Cruise weighs approximately 67 kg. If we ignore air resistance, his acceleration would have been 9.81 m/s^2.

F=(67 kg)(9.81 m/s^2)
F= 660 newtons
The fall would not have broken his spine, leaving him able to save the day and his wife.

In another climatic scene, Tom Cruise is rescuing another agent and throws a grenade which I assume is magnetic, as it is pulled towards a metal pole and sticks. It takes less than two seconds to throw it about 6 meters. My question is why did it go straight to the pole after throwing it in a curve and in a mostly metal warehouse?

1 comment:

  1. Remember that the assignment was to come up with a physics question and then think about what quantities you would need to measure or estimate to answer that physics question. Your analysis includes numerous measured/estimated quantities, but not much discussion about why you think you need to know those quantities. I really like your 2nd question. Not many students have come up with that one. And good research on the force needed to fracture someone's spine. It turns out the answer is more complicated than what you calculated. Maybe we'll do this example in class at some point.