MICROWOOSHIn the late summer of 2009, a spectacular video began circulating the internet known as Megawoosh. Many of my students sent me this video, wondering whether or not it could be true, or whether it was digitally faked.
As it turns out, the video was revealed to be part of a viral marketing campaign for Microsoft Germany, and was in fact digitally composed. But the question still remained: could the stunt have been done in real life?
The answer is a resounding yes and I promised to show my students later in the semester, after we got to the chapters on WORK and ENERGY, since these concepts would enable a tractable calculation.
The DemoThe demonstration consists of a Hot Wheels car track, shown below. It begins with a long ramp, and ends with a shorter ejection ramp, as in the Megawoosh video.
The most important part of the demo is that you calculate where to place the small pool target you are trying to hit with the car. As part of the demo, I have a live running Mathematica notebook running that lets me recalculate based on measurements made in the class.
The basic physics is this:
VideoVideo of the entire explanation and experiment. Double click to start videos.