Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Bad Physics

OK, Christmas is over. So no more peace and goodwill towards others. It's time we get back to exposing bad physics!


First of all, I know this is just nitpicking, but I'm in the mood to do one, so here goes a nitpicking.

This blog article in a newspaper describes what the author believe to be the difference in perception of other drivers depending on what car one is driving. He's comparing how he sees other drivers around him react if he's driving a big old Mercury Grand Marquis versus a small car. One of the reason he gave for such differences is this:

First, the size of the car. The bigger the car, the more damage it can do in an accident at any given speed. That is simple physics of energy equals mass times velocity. Not that I think most people are really aware of that.

Well, I'd say not a lot of physicists are aware of that either. "mass times velocity" is MOMENTUM, not "energy".

Like I said, this is nitpicking. However, this is BASIC, simple physics that any high-schoolers would have learned. One should not get something this simple, or this obvious, wrong.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thats brilliant! He talks about how basic it is yet gets it wrong. =]