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The Physics of Hollywood

The Physics of Hollywood 1Movies in physics class?

Whether a ball rolls from a table or Spiderman falls from a house makes no difference from a physical point of view.

It’s time to think about why physics is one of the most unpopular school subjects. „The Physics of Hollywood“ offers teachers and students concrete starting points. Abstract physical terms are linked to the students‘ 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?

In this book, concrete film sequences are addressed and calculated at school level. Each excerpt is precisely localized and connected to the respective film trailer via QR code. In addition, there are detailed solutions for each task.

The „Physics of Hollywood“ is available at Amazon as a paperback: Link.

Individual examples can also be found here on the blog here: Link.

Of all the subjects at school, chemistry and physics are considered the most unpopular. They are the first to be deselected and the contents forgotten most quickly.
Today, we live in the absurd situation of being surrounded by physics in our high-tech world without having any right access to it. Things should „simply work“.
The obstacles to understanding can already be found at school: in class, old devices are taken from old cupboards to investigate strange phenomena and to invent new, strange terms. Many physical concepts are initially abstract and have little to do with everyday life: „What exactly is an electric field? „What exactly makes a magnet magnetic?“ „What is the difference between mass and weight? „What is a torque?“
This is often very far away, not only for children.

In contrast to mathematics, in physics we also have far more abstract content to convey in much less time. While in mathematics one has five weeks to deal with the percentage calculation, in physics (drastically formulated) in the same period the force must be introduced, the Newtonian axioms discussed, the lever explained and the pulley investigated experimentally. In a minor subject and if things go badly, on Tuesdays in the seventh and eighth hour. This often leaves little time for projects and things that are fun and motivating.

The integration of film sequences into lessons connects the world of students with the world of physics. Whether Spiderman falls from a roof or a marble rolls from the table – the same physical principle is behind it. We find the conservation of impulses both in a Newtonian pendulum and in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action films when he shoots wildly around himself. But I suspect what the children are more interested in.

On the following pages I would like to do without pedagogical and didactic derivations as far as possible.
As a teacher, you have studied and gained experience long enough to know where it makes sense to show film sequences and when not.
As a non-teacher you will hardly be interested.
As a physicist, you don’t need me to derive the formula for a thread pendulum. Such things are to be found better in relevant technical literature.
And for non-physicists I recommend the books by Metin Tolan or „The Physics of Superheroes“ by James Kakalios. They do without mathematics (as best they can).

The Physics of Hollywood 2This book wants to focus on concrete teaching examples. In my imagination you are a teacher of an intermediate or advanced level class and are looking for practical ideas to convey physical topics in a vivid way. All the following examples are therefore didactically reduced. It is not about calculating the world, but about linking school physics with film sequences and approaching them.
For each task I have outlined a short solution: There is certainly a better, more precise way to each task and I invite you to discard my solution and bring it in line with your lessons. In the event that you want to ponder something yourself, the corresponding invoices are never on the same side as the tasks: Spoileralert😉

The examples should be exemplary. If you browse through them and have the various tasks in mind, you will notice film sequences in the future that can be used in physics lessons. This book is intended above all to sharpen your focus and give you ideas.

For the lessons it offers itself to sprinkle in individual tasks here and there. But I myself have also had good experience with combining many different tasks into a learning counter, with which everything was repeated at the end of a unit. The students took individual tasks and calculated them with great joy. On my blog I reported about it in detail and you can find more examples there.

But now I wish you a lot of fun reading it.

The „Physics of Hollywood“ is available at Amazon: Link.