Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm flying, Jack... Flying

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I always found Newtonian physics to be boring as hell.

  • An object at rest (or motion) stays at rest (or motion) unless there's external force.
  • Force is mass times acceleration.
  • Every reaction causes an equal and opposite reaction.

Well done, Newton. But while your laws may “govern the world” and all, they’ve failed to excite me in the slightest for pretty much my entire life.

Until now.

Because now, we have jet packs. That’s right, thanks to law number three, pumping continual streams of water from the bottom of a thirty pound jet pack causes the wearer to be pushed in the opposite direction for hours at a time. That is, up.

The problem with jet packs before now has primarily been an issue of function. When developing a jet pack for military use, for example, it was extremely important that the device be functional on dry land. If a soldier wanted to float over a potential minefield, he or she probably wouldn't have access to a large body of water. So past designs have generally been focused on using the expulsion of compressed gases for lift.

But this has always caused problems. Compressed gases can be highly explosive, and it takes a lot more gas to counteract the forces of gravity than liquid. But now that jet packs have crossed over into the realm of recreation, most of these issues have been overcome.

I'd elaborate, but I think the video pretty much speaks for itself in proclaiming one overarching message: Go physics.

-Brit Trogen

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