Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Superman II Niagara Falls scene: how long should it have taken the boy to fall

If you grew up watching Superman II (1980) one of your favourite scenes was when Clark changes into Superman and saves the kid from falling into Niagara Falls. What follows is a shocking revelation I have uncovered thanks to the Internet and science. 

First, the science. The force of gravity, g = 9.8 m/s2. That means that gravity accelerates you at 9.8 meters per second per second. So, after one second, you're falling 9.8 m/s. After two seconds, you're falling 19.6 m/s, and so on. Source

The second fact to keep in mind is Niagara Falls has a drop of 51 meters. Source

Finally, in the movie it takes approximately 29 seconds from the time the boy begins to fall to the time Superman catches him near the bottom.

But according to the free fall calculator, it should take 3.23 seconds for the boy to hit the water.

Conclusion: Superman II is based on faulty science.

I'm worried what my investigation into Lex Luthor's Alpha Wave machine with uncover.

1 comment:

Bri said...

It's a movie designed to create suspense via imagery not a science class :)