# Physics jargon for short film

K

#### kevin

This may be an odd post, but I'm writing a short film in which a college student is having some trouble with a general physics course.

Having never taken physics myself, I'm looking for sample dialogue to use in a particular scene.

What I need help with is the professor's dialogue in this scenario:
After class, the student listens to her professor conclude his explanation of how to solve a particular physics problem, or maybe he explains a way of thinking that makes clear how to solve an entire host of problems. The student's response is something like "ahh, now that makes sense."

It is mere days before finals week, so the professor's explanation must be about something beyond simple physics principles, but it cannot be more advanced than what is taught in an introductory physics course.

Any and all suggestions would be of great help. Thanks!!

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#### cronxeh

Gold Member
Think along these lines:

No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seemes logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal anount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth. 5.353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enourmous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

#### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
This isn't doing all too well in homework help. I'm moving it to GD...

K

#### kevin

Ha! Interesting example, cronxeh.
Much appreciated.

#### Danger

Gold Member
How about checking with Greg and the participants about permission to copy part of a GP thread?

#### Evo

Mentor
I can't believe that on a physic's forum, no one has been able to come up with anything??

#### TOKAMAK

How about finding the final velocity of a sphere (or perhaps a cylinder, or something that has an easy-to-calculate moment of inertia) rolling down an inclined plane? In order to do the problem, it would be easiest to use conservation of total energy. So the kinetic energy at the bottom of the inclined plane will be equal to the potential energy at the top of the inclined plane. However, the final kinetic energy will have two components: one due to translation, and the other due to rotation. I always thought this was a nifty little problem. Just throwing something out there, let me know if you want details

#### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Evo said:
I can't believe that on a physic's forum, no one has been able to come up with anything??
Well, what sounds physic-y enough in a little clip that's supposed to be the end of a lecture? Most lectures just end with "I guess that's all the time we have today." :rofl:

Actually, it's just a rather broad, open-ended type question.

I guess you could simply end with something like, "...and that's how you derive the equation for..." and then fill in the name of any equation.

Alternatively, you could do the "fluff" type deal where you don't actually include any physics and just fake it. You can show the professor at the chalkboard and keep the camera angle such that you hear the scratching of chalk on the chalkboard but can't actually see what's being written, and have him/her saying something like, "then you integrate here..." (scratch scratch scratch with the chalk) "and solve the resulting equation with your known variables..." (scratch scratch scratch) "and that's all we have time for today. Don't forget next week's quiz will include the material we covered in today's lecture."

#### Evo

Mentor
Moonbear said:
Well, what sounds physic-y enough in a little clip that's supposed to be the end of a lecture? Most lectures just end with "I guess that's all the time we have today." :rofl:
Or as one of my less memorable english professors usually ended "since most of you are asleep anyway". :tongue:

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