# Watermelon and Superman experiment

• BMWPower06
Once you solve for t in this equation you can plug that value into the equation for the watermelon's velocity (Vf=Vi+at) and solve for Vf. In summary, to determine the speed of the watermelon when it passes Superman, you need to find out how far above the sidewalk Superman is when the watermelon passes him. To do this, set the equation for Superman's displacement equal to the equation for the watermelon's displacement and solve for t. Then, plug that value into the equation for the watermelon's final velocity and solve for Vf.
BMWPower06

## Homework Statement

As a science project, you drop a watermelon off the top of the Empire State Building, 320 m above the sidewalk. It so happens that Superman flies by at the instant you release the watermelon. Superman is headed straight down with a speed of 32.0.

How fast is the watermelon going when it passes Superman?

Vf=Vi+at
X=Vit+(1/2)at^2

## The Attempt at a Solution

I guess you have to figure the velocity of the watermelon first correct? But I'm not certain how to do that. And, once I figure out the watermelon's velocity how do I determine when it passes superman?

You are going to want to find out how far above the sidewalk Superman is when the Watermelon passes him.

To do this set the equation that shows Superman's displacement (x=vt) equal to the equation for the watermelon's displacement (X=Vit+(1/2)at^2). You can do this because the displacement for both Superman and the watermelon will be equal when they are passing.

I would approach this experiment by first considering the forces acting on the watermelon and Superman. The watermelon is initially at rest and will experience a downward force due to gravity. Superman, on the other hand, is flying downwards with a constant velocity, meaning he is not accelerating and therefore not experiencing any net force.

Using the equations provided, we can calculate the watermelon's velocity as it falls. We know the initial velocity (Vi) is 0 m/s, the acceleration (a) is 9.8 m/s^2 (due to gravity), and the distance (X) is 320 m. By plugging these values into the equation X=Vit+(1/2)at^2 and solving for Vf, we find that the watermelon's velocity when it reaches the sidewalk is approximately 80 m/s.

Now, to determine when the watermelon passes Superman, we need to consider their relative positions and velocities. Since Superman is flying downwards with a constant velocity, we can assume that he will be at the same position (320 m above the sidewalk) when the watermelon reaches that point. Therefore, we can say that the watermelon passes Superman when it reaches a velocity of 32 m/s, which is equal to Superman's velocity.

In conclusion, the watermelon's velocity when it passes Superman is approximately 80 m/s, and this occurs when the watermelon has fallen 320 m and has a velocity equal to Superman's. This experiment demonstrates the principles of gravity and relative motion, and can be used to further explore these concepts in a scientific setting.

## 1. What is the purpose of the Watermelon and Superman experiment?

The purpose of the Watermelon and Superman experiment is to demonstrate the effects of pressure on a watermelon by using a common superhero as a comparison. It is a fun and engaging way to teach about the properties of watermelon and physics concepts such as force, pressure, and structural integrity.

## 2. How is the Watermelon and Superman experiment conducted?

The experiment involves placing a watermelon on a flat surface and asking participants to apply pressure on the watermelon using their hands or feet. The pressure will gradually increase until the watermelon reaches its breaking point and splits open. This process is repeated with the addition of a Superman action figure placed on top of the watermelon to compare the pressure needed to break the watermelon to the strength of a superhero.

## 3. What materials are needed for the Watermelon and Superman experiment?

The materials needed for this experiment include a watermelon, a flat surface, a Superman action figure, and a scale to measure the pressure applied to the watermelon. Optional materials may include a ruler or measuring tape to track the circumference of the watermelon before and after the experiment.

## 4. What can we learn from the Watermelon and Superman experiment?

This experiment teaches us about the properties of watermelon and how it responds to pressure. It also highlights the importance of structural integrity and how different materials can withstand varying levels of force. Additionally, it can spark discussions about physics concepts such as force, pressure, and strength in a fun and interactive way.

## 5. Are there any safety precautions to consider when conducting the Watermelon and Superman experiment?

Yes, it is important to ensure that the surface where the experiment is conducted is flat and stable to prevent any accidents. It is also recommended to wear protective gear such as gloves or safety goggles when handling the watermelon to avoid any injuries. Children should always be supervised by an adult when conducting this experiment.

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