Lesson 4: Test your Knowledge on Laws of Motion – Part 6

Scene 5: Fast and Furious 6 into Your Arms  

Watch a scene from the movie “Fast and Furious 6” where one of the characters jumps off from the hood of a car after it crashes and flies into another character, saving her. Answer the following questions:

What Laws of Motion are broken?

Give a breakdown of the circumstances in the scene in relation to the equation Force equals mass times acceleration (F = ma).

If the car is going at 70 mph, at what speed would the character be going? At what speed would he hit the character he is trying to save? Would it be enough to stop? If the female character was also going at 70 mph, what would happen?


Click here to read a discussion on the scene and compare your thoughts.

This scene illustrates all three Newton’s Laws of motion. In this scene Vin Diesel jumps off a moving car, flies through the air, crashes into Michelle Rodriguez and then lands on another car. Let us consider first what is right with this scene. First of all, when the car Diesel is on crashes into the guard rail, its momentum is transferred onto Diesel, who flies off at 70 mph, the same speed the car was going. This agrees with the conservation of momentum and the second law of motion. Additionally, according to F=ma, the force from Diesel flying off should be higher than Michelle’s because (a) he has more mass and (b) he has a higher acceleration due to the transfer of momenta. However, while it makes sense that his force will overcome her, consider what should happen afterwards; if he is going at 70 mph, he will fall with the impact of 70 mph unto the car as well. What will happen to their bodies after a body impact of 70 mph? 

Now assume that the female was also flying with an acceleration of 70 mph. In this case, Diesel’s force would still overtake her due to his mass. Now what if their masses and acceleration were the same? They would crash into each other, come to a stop and fall into the chasm.