Roadtrip 2000

As all Todd Phillips movies, this also pushes some envelopes. The movie starts like Old School with some areal shots of Harvard. Eliot house, Charles river, JFK School of Government, Charles hotel. There is then a nice car jump scene which includes some physics (rsp multivariable calculus). Can you cover a 10 feet gap with v=60 miles per hour (=27 m/s) and 4 people inside? Rubin mentions the weight of the car but this actually does not matter: the car drives with 27 m/s with a pi/6=30 degree angle then the initial velocity vector is 27 [cos(pi/6),sin(pi/6)] = [23.4,13.5]. If the initial jump point is [0,0], then the free fall trajectory is r(t) = [23.4t,13.5 t - 5t2] which means that the car hits the road again after t=2.7 seconds which actually means that it has cleared 63 meters. But 30 degree is definitely too large, maybe Rubin thought of 30 percent steepness which corresponds to an angle arctan(0.3) ~ 0.3 which gives an initial velocity of 27 [ cos(0.3),sin(0.3) ] ~ [26, 8] and so a trajectory r(t) = [26 t, 8t-5t2] which gives a flight time of t=8/5=1.6 seconds which still clears 26*8/5 =41 meters. (Actually, the flight time in the movie is just about 1.5 seconds). In any case, clearing the bridge is no problem. The landing is an other matter.

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Oliver Knill, Posted January 26, 2021,