Posted by MOvie Guru on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 4:41pm.
I am doing a paper that entails my knowledge of physics to prove errors in the movie Transformers. There is one scene in the movie where Shia (Sam, the hero) falls in Optimus Prime's hand, from around 20 stories high. Obviously Sam should ooze out of Prime's hand, but of course he doesn't. I was wondering if this error can be said to be a true error due to Newton's 1st and 2nd laws of motion. For the 1st law, Sam is stopped by an external force applied to him, otherwise he would keep falling. For the 2nd law, it proves why Prime is unharmed after the fall, and thus why Sam should be harmed and not unharmed like he actually is. Ok, so any information would be great. Thanks a billion!

Film and Physics  Damon, Monday, December 31, 2007 at 5:08pm
You have me pretty puzzled.
I am not familiar with these characters and their abilities so I am having trouble visualizing what would happen.
Now the First Law says that your friend Sam will keep right on going at the same speed unless an external force acts on him. That force would have to come from Prime's hand.
Then the Second Law says that the force acting on Sam is equal to the rate of change of Sam's momentum. If Sam has mass Msam and was moving at speed V in meters per second when he hit Prime's hand and he stops in one meter then
Average force on Sam Force = Msam (V0)/time to stop Sam
Now we can figure out the time to stop Sam. The average speed during the stop is (V0)/2 or .5 V
the distance to stop is one meter
so the time to stop Sam is 1 meter/.5 V
or t = 2/V
so the average force on Sam is
Msam (V^2/2) Newtons if he stops in one meter
Now you can make a guess at Msam in Kg.
You can figure out V from the height he fell from at acceleration 9.8 m/s^2
height = (1/2)9.8 t^2 solve for time in air
then V = 9.8 t
The Third Law says the force on Prime will be equal and opposite to the force on Sam.

Film and Physics  Alexis, Monday, December 31, 2007 at 6:19pm
And now, you have me puzzled. Thanks anyways, I appreciate it!
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