Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Preventing velociraptors

In the movie Jurassic Park, there is a scene in which some members of the visiting group are trapped in the kitchen with dinosaurs outside of the door. The paleontologist is pressing his shoulder near the center of the door, trying to keep out the dinosaurs who are on the other side. The botanist throws herself against the door at the edge right next to the hinge. A pivotal point in the film is that she cannot reach a gun on the floor because she is trying to help hold the door closed. Would they improve or worsen their situation if the paleontologist moved to the outer edge of the door and the botanist went for the gun? Estimate the change in the torque they are exerting on the door due to the change in their positions.

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Page last modified October 9, 2002: R03