March 01, 2013

Is Marcus right? (Physics of the Funnies)


Here's another comic that I think could be used to spark discussion in a physics class. Some questions that I would want to elicit from my class:

How long is Marcus watching Jason fall?
What forces are on Jason?
How would we characterize Jason's motion? (constant velocity vs. accelerating)

Then, to go Mythbuster's style on the discussion: is the scenario plausible? Of course, it is a comic strip; it does not have to be plausible.  But, if it is not plausible, what conditions would have to be met to get the motion depicted in the comic?

Finally (for this post, at least): is Marcus right in what he says at the end?  Would using less helium make a difference?

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