Video Analysis

Uniform Circular Motion using Pirates of the Caribbean

What to Find:

  • What is the net centripetal force acting on Jack Sparrow as he swings around the mast?
  • What is the tension in the rope?

Here is a link to the video.

Captain Jack Sparrow Swings


  • A reasonable force diagram with labels
  • List all of the information you gather so that I can easily tell to what it refers.
  • Tell you you collected your data. If you had to make any assumptions or estimations, tell me what they are and why you chose as you did.
  • Show all calculations and conversions.

Projectile Motion using Speed.

"Speed" is a fun action movie from 1994 starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. The premise of the movie is that a disgruntled former police officer attaches a bomb to the bottom of a bus. Once the speed of the bus passes 50 miles per hour, the bus must maintain a velocity greater than 50 mi/hr or the bomb will go off, which would be uncomfortable for the passengers.

The scene of interest for this assignment involves the bus racing down a new-elevated highway in southern California. Unfortunately for our bus travelers, there is a gap in the highway bridge. Luckily for our travelers, the laws of movie physics can be . . .well, your job is to find out if this jump can happen.

Clip from Speed

Note: You can give as much or as little assistance/instruction with this activity as you like. My AP students can generally handle this with no further aid. If I use it with "honors" students I ask leading questions to help them.