Eraser

You could substitute just about any action movie here. Anything starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, etc. should do fine. They all have the same cliches and the same bad examples of physics. The two most widely violated physical principles in movies such as “Eraser” are the Law of Conservation of Momentum and the Law of Conservation of Energy. Mind you these are two of the most immutable laws of the universe for us mere mortals, yet somehow they don’t seem to apply in Hollywood action films. (You could add the Law of Conservation of Bullets to this list, too.) One of the most egregious examples of the violiation of the Law of Conservation of Momentum comes across this way: the hero can fire away on his/her gun with practically no recoil whatsoever, yet any bad guy hit by a bullet from said gun will be violently launched off their feet and into whatever structure happens to be behind them (often a glass wall or window). It just can’t happen that way!

Assignment: Analyze in detail any of the scenes where someone fires the rail gun and hits a victim, sending them flying. Describe for your readers what is fundamentally wrong with these scenes. Your analysis should be centered around the application of the law of conservation of momentum (which we’ll cover in class this week).

Please post your answers to your blog by Wednesday, 18 Sep. BE SURE TO RANK THE PHYSICS IN THIS MOVIE ACCORDING TO THE ISMP MOVIE PHYSICS RATING SYSTEM.

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