Movies in physics class? It’s time to think about why physics is one of the most unpopular school subjects. In my physics lessons I always try to pick up my students in their world: Can Arnold Schwarzenegger really shoot relaxed from his wrist? Could there really be King Kong? What happens during beaming? And how heavy is the incredible Hulk? The physics of Hollywood offers plenty of examples on exciting scientific questions.

The physics of Terminator Genisys 1Terminator Genisys

Went with my brothers in the new Terminator. Absolutely. Great.

We had a great time and enjoyed all the hidden jokes in the movie. I think you really have to like the line to like the movie. There are many parts of it that say, „Brain off. Heart on.
But not all of them! In one sequence Arnold Schwarzenegger falls from one helicopter through the rotor of a second helicopter and into the latter. Question: Can he fall so fast that he is not sliced by the rotor blades? Appropriately enough, a new task for my physics of Hollywood:

The physics of Terminator Genisys

The physics of Terminator Genisys 2In the action movie Terminator Genisys from 2015, there is a spectacular chase between two helicopters. Arnold Schwarzenegger jumps out of the first helicopter about 40m down into the rotor of the second one in order to stop it. Neither do the rotor blades shatter, nor does the Terminator get sliced up by them, as visible in the following scenes. He simply falls through the blades.

Is it possible for Arnold Schwarzenegger to fall through the running rotor, without getting hurt or damaging the blades? Make appropriate assumptions.

Hints: The helicopter’s engine manages about 300 rotations/min and possesses a rotor circuit diameter of 15m.

The physics of Terminator Genisys 3More exercises

Would you like to have even more tasks for your own lessons? On more than 130 pages in „The Physics of Hollywood“ you will find numerous additional tasks (and solutions) for your physics lessons. Available at Amazon (click). More information can be found here on the blog.