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Homework Help: Misused Physics in Advertisements

  1. Nov 29, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Ok, I have an assignment in which I'm supposed to look around the internet and check out different reliable news sources (CNN, NPR, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, etc). My assignment is to try and find an advertisement that misuses a physics concept/terminology. I am allowed to use an advertisement that used the physics concept/terminology correctly, but I think it looks better to find a "bad" advertisement. Anyway, I found this article and was going to write my paper up on this, explaining the physics behind everything, but I'm not sure if it will be counted for the assignment. The following is the exact wording of the assignment:

    "You will be looking for examples of physics used in advertisements in everyday literature such as a magazine and newspapers. You must submit a Xerox copy or an original copy of the advertisement and an evaluation of the physics used in the advertisement. In particular, was the physics terminology used correctly? Why or why not? Justify your answers with an explanation."

    The article I chose to use is located here:

    My only problem is whether or not this article could be counted for this assignment? I know the goal behind the concept is basically to find some "public-knowledge" literature like the stuff CNN produces which uses physics terminology/ concepts in their explanations and this is why I chose this article. I was wondering what your opinion would be on this matter and if you think I need to find an official "advertisement," then where would be a good place to start? Thanks for any help/ links!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2009 #2


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    I think you must use an advertisement rather than an article.
  4. Nov 29, 2009 #3


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    Also, shouldn't you ask your teacher instead of some random guys on the Internet?
  5. Nov 29, 2009 #4


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    Well, his teacher already said "advertisement"!
  6. Nov 29, 2009 #5
    Well, it's pretty late in my time zone and I just want to get the assignment done tonight. I found another article on Time Magazine where I'm pretty sure the author used the terms velocity and speed interchangeably without thinking much about their actual meaning. It's located at


    Also, on the rubric, the teacher suggests using websites like CNN, Time, and Sports Illustrated. These sites are more populated with articles rather than advertisements, so I'm thinking there was a bad choice of wording in the rubric, when he was trying to type it up in a clear manner so that it would convey the main goal of the project. Has anyone seen any advertisements lately that have misused any terminology by any chance? I've been looking all day, but there's really no way to just google for "advertisements" and find what you want lol.
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