What Would A Ride In The Millennium Falcon Actually Do To Your Body?

The Millennium Falcon pulls some pretty crazy stunts in the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And while we recognize Star Wars takes place in a fictional universe, we couldn't help but get pedantic about the physics of the scene, and the effects it might have on the human body. » 12/27/14 2:59pm 12/27/14 2:59pm

XKCD Finally Answers The Question About How Fast You Can Die At Daytona

Every Monday morning, I wake up, come to work, turn my computer on, and ponder the same question. "Sure, I'd like to enter the Daytona 500, but I'd want to get it over with really quickly because it's Monday and I have Things To Do. How fast could I do it before I die a horrific, debilitating death?" » 10/20/14 12:17pm 10/20/14 12:17pm

Why the Human Body Can't Handle Heavy Acceleration

Our bodies are surprisingly resilient in many situations, but rapid acceleration is not one of them. While the human body can withstand any constant speed—be it 20 miles per hour or 20 billion miles per hour—we can only change that rate of travel relatively slowly. Speed up or slow down too quickly and it's lights… » 10/01/14 3:53pm 10/01/14 3:53pm

A Motor That Can Get To The Moon On A Few Drops Of Fuel

One of the biggest challenges of space travel is the immense fuel cost of traveling even to our own planet's satellite, let alone one of our neighboring planets. But what if you could build a lightweight space craft that could get around the solar system on barely any fuel? A special motor, and a special kind of fuel,… » 3/30/12 8:30am 3/30/12 8:30am

Traffic Jam Torment: Physics Proves That Bottlenecks Are Bulls**t

Traffic jams stand no chance under the onslaught of giant throbbing Japanese physicist brains! Well, to be accurate, physicists from the Land of the Rising Sun haven't exactly cracked the traffic-jam conundrum. But they have figured out why it took me four mother!@#$ing hours to crawl up the mother!@#$ing I-5 from San… » 3/04/08 3:45pm 3/04/08 3:45pm

Foot-Pounds vs. Newton Meters: Jalopnik Goes to School

So we mentioned in our R10 post from earlier that we didn't get the whole lb. ft. And because our addled little brain is somewhat screwy when it comes to physics (we did well in Honors Bio but struggled through high-school Chemistry and didn't bother with physics if it involves math, forget it). And we could've saved… » 3/17/06 12:22am 3/17/06 12:22am