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Oct 26 2010

Troll physics explained

Rage comics are one of my guilty pleasures. Combine them with my love for science, and you can’t go wrong. A physics professor was asked to explain the (lack of) science behind some of the funnier “Troll physics” comics. Here’s one of my favorites:

“DM: Jumping off the ground – or even a chair on the ground – is nothing like jumping off a chair while you and the chair are in freefall. Because the chair isn’t connected to anything, you’ll be pushing the chair DOWN as much as pushing yourself up (via Newton’s third law). And since you have much more mass than the chair, the force you and the chair exert on one another will speed up the chair’s descent much more than it slows your own.”

Is it bad that I think I would have learned more from my physics class if it would have incorporated internet memes?

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Rmguest

    Everyone knows it only works from below the 3rd floor.

  2. 2
    Caliguy7281

    Brought a tear to my eye. Thank you, I haven’t laughed this hard in a very long time.

  3. 3
    BEG

    I hate you for bringing my attention to another wonderful comic strip! *flounces off to read the rest of them*

  4. 4
    olifantje

    “And since you have much more mass than the chair, the force you and the chair exert on one another will speed up the chair’s descent much more than it slows your own. “1. Set fir to physics prof’s building2. Let him increase mass of chair by attaching heavy stuff to the thing3. Let him jump from window with heavy chair4. Let him wait till the chair is about the touch the ground5. Prof becomes an hero & epic lulz are generated

  5. 5
    Loreen Ramona Baraitar

    I used to think this when I was a little kid!

  6. 6
    S_j_c_brown

    While true the explanation is not really relevant as any change in velocity obtained by jumping is going to a very small delta on your impact velocity. You are better off hoping that the breaking of the chair legs absorbs some of the energy and increases the time of the impact

  7. 7
    WhatPaleBlueDot

    Clearly, it must be a barcalounger that you jump out the window with.

  8. 8
    Katy

    There was a Bugs Bunny cartoon I remember where he does just that from a plane falling from the sky – just steps off and is fine. It made sense to me at the time!

  9. 9
    zen

    I was thinking a bean bag chair….

  10. 10
    Rmguest

    …this is also why you should never try to jump upwards inside an aircraft at altitude. You would be smashed against the rear bulkhead.

  11. 11
    Aslkdasd

    yeah yeah!!!!

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