The Physics of the Speeder Chase in Solo: A Star Wars Story

I make it my job to hunt through all the best trailers and find some cool physics thing to explore. In this case, it &# x27; s the trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story — the Han Solo-led movie, scheduled to come out in May, that takes place some time before Episode IV: A New Hope . Right at the beginning, we examine Han driving some type of speeder in a chase stage, taking a super-sharp turn with another speeder in pursuit. Now &# x27; s the interesting physics stuff: Notice how it looks like “its by” slithering around the bow? Why does it do that? Is that how you would actually drive a make-believe speeder?

To answer these questions, we need to think about the nature of makes. Suppose I push on some object at rest such that my push is no other significant action on that objective. This could happen with a craft sitting in still sea, a hockey puck on ice, or a small spacecraft out in deep space( don &# x27; t worry about how that object got into gap ). What does the objective do? A common reaction will be to say that the object moves. That &# x27; s not bad, but “move” is not the best ask. With a constant a patrol, an object expanded in speed–that is to say, it intensifies. Acceleration is a measure of the change in velocity of an object, so we could also say that a patrol changes an object &# x27; s velocity. That &# x27; s key.


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There &# x27; s one more really important meaning to understand–velocity is a vector. A vector is a quantity in which the direction matters( other vectors are: army, gravitational province, stance ). If significant quantities doesn &# x27; t will vary depending on counseling, we call that a scalar( like occasion or mass or electric charge ). Since impels change velocity and velocity depends on counseling, this means that it takes a force-out to change the direction of a velocity. Or you are able say it takes a coerce to rotation Han Solo &# x27; s speeder.

How about a demonstration to show you how the results of this work? Suppose I take a bowling ball and reel it along the storey( everyone should have a bowling ball handy for physics demos ). This lump will virtually act like an object moving with a constant velocity since the frictional troop is big. I want to make this clod change counselings by punching it with a stick. Which behavior should I touch it? Watch this.

Just to be clear, let me include this diagram picturing the velocity of the clod and future directions of the force.

This sideways tap realizes the ball change guidance of its gesture, but it doesn &# x27; t genuinely change how quickly it wheels. So actually, you have been able break forces into two components. Pushes in the same direction( or opposite) direction as the velocity either make it speed up or slow down. Actions that are vertical to the flow( sideways troops) utter the object change attitude. But you already knew that: When you swing a ball around on a string, it principally moves at a constant rapidity but the sideways coerce from the string justification it to change tendency and move in a circle.

Now back to Han Solo &# x27; s speeder. I &# x27; m not sure exactly how this vehicle drives, but I can fix some beliefs( and you can &# x27; t stop me ). First, it seems likely that those thrusters in the back of the speeder exerts some type of magnetism on it. Second, there has to be some significant frictional force pushing in the opposite tendency of the speeder &# x27; s flow. f not, the thrust from the engines would simply build that stuff restrain speeding up until it got to silly rushes. My last-place acceptance is that the speeder has to use these same rear thrusters for changing direction–unlike an Earth-bound automobile, which utilizes resistance between the tires and the road to make a turn.

How about a deterioration of this slide turn from the trailer? I can &# x27; t truly do a suitable video analysis because of the camera inclination, so instead I will time talk about it conceptually. Tell me break down the action into three times as seen in the diagram below.

At position 1, the speeder is still moving to the left–but Han has shifted the speeder so that the thrust can start to push perpendicular to the action of the vehicle. Next at situation 2 the speeder is in the middle of the pas. You can see that the thrust is preparing it move. But you can also should be noted that private vehicles impetu is pushing in a manner that is that only changes the direction of private vehicles and not its hurry. Finally, at sentiment 3, the think is complete. Han really needs to turn the speeder so that the thrust is in the same direction as the action( I acquire to counteract the frictional action ).

If you don &# x27; t like “ve been thinking about” is moving forward cliques, you have another option. How about this? In arrange 2( above) notice that the speeder impetu is to the left and up. The left-pushing part of this poke is in the opposite counseling as the flow of the vehicle, so that it moves it reduce its right-moving quicken. The up-pushing part speeds up private vehicles in the upward attitude. In the end, this whole maneuver has to do two things: stop the vehicle moving to the right and speed up the vehicle moving upward( in the layout ). That &# x27; s why the thrust has to angle the space it does.

Homework : Yes, I do have one question for you to work on. Theorize this speeder is about the sizing and mold of a terrestrial automobile. In that case, you can estimate the thrust patrol needed to move it along at a constant velocity. Now that same action has to acquire make the car turn–but the returning personnel is dependent on mass of the car( unlike take forward which exclusively depends on the condition ). Use this to estimate the thrust to mass rate for the speeder. Yes, I think this can be done. You might need to draw some bumpy estimates of vehicle rapidity and making radius.

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