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The Physics of Angry Birds


One of the Johnson Family's favorite pastimes is to play Angry Birds on one, or both, of our iPhones. Owen absolutely adores this game. If you aren't familiar with Angry Birds, it is a remarkably uncomplicated video game based on using a sling shot to fling an angry little bird across the screen and into the fortifications of a band of wiley pigs. Pigs who stole the birds' eggs. And laugh at you when you miss. Those frickin' pigs! I'll smash 'em good!

Given our love of the adventures of those furious feathered friends, I particularly enjoyed this Wired article about the Physics of Angry Birds.
The goal is to knock over some pigs. Seriously, that is the game.

But what about the physics? Do the birds have a constant vertical acceleration? Do they have constant horizontal velocity? Let’s find out, shall we? Oh, why would I do this? Why can’t I just play the dumb game and move on. That is not how I roll. I will analyze this, and you can’t stop me.

Oh, don't worry. This nerd wouldn't dream of stopping you!

BTW, the Tracker software the author uses to perform the physics analysis of the video of the game is really fun and potentially quite useful in the classroom. It's open source, too!

Comments

Amy P said…
I DID learn something in Physics 23! I understood everything in that article!!

I was half expecting to to open the article and see that it had been written by the prof. that taught the statistics class for my MBA program. He used to often say when writing out proofs, "you can't stop me."

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