Teaching Physics With Movies

Class assignment:  Stop the train loaded with hazardous chemicals before this “missile the size of the Chrysler Building” hits a populated area and “vaporizes everything in front of it.”

Okay, that's actually a summary of the premise in the new thriller film, Unstoppable.  But that doesn't mean that a class couldn't consider the assignment virtually using the film.

Could a train even be as powerful as a Chrysler Building-sized missile?

The lesson idea comes from Emory physics professor Sidney Perkowitz. He is a good source considering that he wrote Hollywood Science: Movies, Science, and the End of the World.

Science and Entertainment Exchange
- National Academy of Sciences program to bring scientific accuracy to media entertainment.


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