OK, PF, I have an argument to settle and I need some expert advice. A friend of mine claims that it is possible to throw an orange through a 1/2" sheet of drywall (gypsum board); several other friends refute his claim. I would like to do the math to prove/disprove the theory, but my line of work doesn't give me a lot of practice with the physics of such dynamic elements. Question to the forum: how would I go about setting up an equation solve for this problem. Thanks in advance!
That's the next step. But if I find out how much force is necessary and it is more than a human arm can supply, then I will have to build a cannon of sorts to achieve what man cannot.
And don't forget that if a baseball pitcher or a cricket fast bowler did the experiment, the orange would hit the drywall traveling at more than 90 mph.
Perhaps google for the impact properties of drywall. If you can't find them you will have to do the experiment.
The question becomes one of whether the orange will fly apart from the acceleration or air turbulence before it gets enough momentum to break the drywall. http://www.gypsum.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/GA-235-10.pdf talks about drywall strength. I'd have to learn more about the methods used for measurement of Effective Modulus of Rupture (MOR) per ASTM C 1396 to understand how to apply the numbers. Are you considering a freestanding 4x8 sheet? or one nailed to 17" studs?