Reel Physics: Fast Five - Vault Heist

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Casting a vote for the Die Hard 4 helicopter kill.
The big question is "How fast would he need to be driving for the car to launch," but also remember he dives out of it at-speed.

The fridge scene from Indiana Jones was A) done on Mythbusters already, and B) less about math than body trauma.

what about the cruise ship scene from speed 2 where it smashes into the wharf?

also an echo to last weeks complaint and a number of previous posters where are the real units 60000 lb's means just as much as 12 foots to me which is nothing

Has anyone else noticed, on top of all this weight, the cars would become slower (despite horse power) with the amount of weight added to the vehicles? I mean, despite how sticky the tires may be, the force from turn-to-turn could potentially flip the cars. Even if there were a total of four cars, if one went down the whole heist would be fucked. It's like the theory that says: if you suddenly break or turn suddenly, everything else in the cars will still be moving straightly in the last direction. I suppose this was kinda mentioned in the review but even with that kind of weight, the speeds and velocity would probably still throw the cars off the roads.

Paul Barrett:
How about Die Hard 4.0 where the car is launched to blow up the helicopter.

I second this. Seems more feasible than the "Indiana Jones in a Fridge" scene (for an episode, that it.)

Please focus on stuff that at least at first glance looks feasable.

You thought this vault seen looked feasible in the slightest?! If I wasn't in need of a ride the day I saw this movie, I would have walked out, this scene being the final straw.

OT: Gods, did I hate this movie... this scene made me want to punch someone.

I'm not sure how much you can get out of John McClaine jumping off the tower.

Probably more than the amount of cars. Remember that they are not trying to pull the safe out on a soft surface like dirt so BOOM goes most of the traction in the tank!

.... no...?

Tanks are ALOT of weight on treads, which have more surface area than tires. As someone stated above... it would take like... 1 tank to do the job.

1. Do the Scene in the new Star Trek where Young Kirk jumps out the car as he drives it off a cliff.


2. The scene where Legolas stands above the snow in LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring!

I really enjoyed the show, I'm looking forward to the next episode. It was entertaining and full of information. The visual is very neat with smooth adding cars to the picture, however I'd like to see even more improvement on that part as in even out of the movie picture representation of data.
The math part would be personally cooler for me if I would get the numbers in metric system, as there are people from all around the world enjoying the Escapist's shows. Right now I can't think of better suggestion, so once again a great new show and I'm wondering if games don't have impassable scenes like that - going through the intros from Unscippable would be a good start.

Hey good episode. Maybe it is because I'm just not familiar with and of the "Fast and furious" movies this came off as a little dull. I would try adding a few more jokes. That being said it is entertaining :D!

great episode but one thing i think you did better in the first one was having both imperial and metric units. i had to do a lot of pound to Kg calculations to get an idea about how much force we are talking about. and unless i was lied to american physicists and engineers prefer using the metric measurements.

oh regarding suggestions, besides all of 2012, one of the many "flying a jet through tight canyon" scenes so common in movies(independence day comes to mind) with a pilot as a protagonist.

Same. Please add metric units, as most of the planet uses metric (atleast virtually all of Europe). Don't you physicists also use metric? :P

Still loved the episode though. Although the numbers didn't make much sense to me, I could still see where they were going at.

EDIT: Saw the post from the REEL guys. Hurray for Metric ;)

I could have told you it wouldn't have worked without using maths.

But, thoroughly enjoyed seeing you slap this stupid scene in the face with a wet fish.

I look forward to more.

I enjoy this show despite barely understanding any of the math involved.

This sums up my opininon, i feel smarter just having watched it.

My suggestion: draw a simple diagram as if you're solving a high school physics problem.

All my physics teacher have told me to draw a diagram and direction of forces before attempting to solve problems. It should help people understand better.

The Lugz:

how many tanks would it take?

probably a very boring figure, like 1

let's take a very British tank:
FV4034 Challenger 2, ( cause we want all your american moneys! )
and put it on the bathroom scale quickly:
loaded for bare it weighs 62,500 kg ( according to they would know right? )
well 62,500 kg is 136687 lbs, so the tank is far heavier than the safe

i calculate it to have 44853 lbs of traction by dividing weight by track area/coeff of rubber pads
( if that calculation is wrong, feel free to correct it )

the tank produces 1,200 hp (890 kW)
and has four forward low gears, maxing out at 37 mph
the output torque is not listed, however my guess is 1 tank could pull this off with ease
if it has a low enough gear which is also not listed

meaning, the tank could certainly accelerate and yank the safe along in almost any condition
( because it weighs more than the safe, it can apply it's inertia to get the safe moving )
on a soothe surface the tank could probably tow the safe
by smooth surface, i mean a dusty road, ala the video.

at a unit cost of $8,600,000
it may be simpler to sell the tank or invade a country that has oil

Nice, thanks for doing the math as it proves it. Anecdotally its possible too, I have seen videos of a Main Battle Tank dragging another one that had thrown its tracks. As the tank is heavier than the safe it should be able to drag it.

I have an idea, an episode on the feasibilities of lightsabres

Evil Smurf:
I have an idea, an episode on the feasibilities of lightsabres

been done, you can have a solid plasma saber with something like 14 minutes of run time
i forget the show but it's hosted by a physicist who answers insane problems like these:
( isn't google useful. )

basically his answer was you construct an extendable ceramic tube with nano tubes built into it and set up a compressor
to fill it with gas, then use the most dense lithium cells available to ignite the atmosphere you collected
in the tube and let it evacuate as plasma through the nano tube holes ( making the entire thing glow beyond white hot )
then you wear a fire suit or the thing would melt your arm off, and have fun cutting the world with it

apparently the math says it will work

but i don't have it to comment on


Please focus on stuff that at least at first glance looks feasable.

You thought this vault seen looked feasible in the slightest?!

No, and I don't like it either. That's why I am asking for a shift of focus to more likely scenes, instead of saying "Please keep doing these non-sensical scenes...

I'm gonna cast a third vote for Live Free or Die Hard. Though I admit I'd rather see the math behind how ridiculous the scene toward the end with the F-35B Lightning II and big rig is.

Among other things in that scene, there's no way that F-35B could possibly have enough fuel to spend that much time hovering. It could even be a two-fer episode, since it could also kill the Harrier scene at the end of True Lies. Hell... Modern Warfare 2's Harrier killstreak too, for that matter.

I enjoy the show, and the content is good, but I do have one gripe with the format. Unfortunately it is a bit evanescent and hard to define for me, so bear with me here...

The laughter and banter feels strangely out of place in such a show. I don't mind the visual gag with the cow (which is completetly appropriate :P ), but the jovial nature feels a bit faked to me and coupled with the rethorical questions that are bounced between you makes for something of an irksome experience. I'm sorry if I'm vague but that is the best description I can manage. The discussion between 4:35 and 5:05 is great, it just that it could've been delievered differently for a (again, to me) better feel. Compared to shows like Big picture or Extra credits, you don't fall short on interesting content, but on delivery.

It might also be a cultural thing as other great shows from america like mythbusters do much the same thing. It's a personal prefference of course so don't take this too seriously, but I'd enjoy the show more if it was played in a more straight faced/clinical way.

Though again, great content just like last time. As much as I have gripes with the format you still have me hooked. Looking forward to the next one! :)

I definitely like the show.
My suggestion: Although I can infer a lot of what you're talking about from context, It would be nice if you could introduce the principles briefly. Not dumbing it down by any great extent as that kind of attitude is ruining all intelligent thought, but perhaps just a little bit more accessible to those of us without a physics degree.

However still love the show!


Love the show! Both episodes have been very fun to watch, looking forward to more.
I'll also vote for the Live Free or Die Hard 'car vs. helicopter' stunt. But I'd also like to see some episodes discussing straight action movies. Can't think of too many examples off the top of my head, but a 'Legolas special' with assorted stunts of his through the entire LotR trilogy could be fun. I'd also enjoy seeing whether any of the silver or UV based weapons from the Blade series are plausible, but that might just be me and my odd appreciation of the Blade series.

They gave this movie even more credit than it deserves, because at one point it is stated that it is ''10 tonnes of top of the line security''. Adding five tonnes of money, it would take a lot more then the 8.7 Chargers they said.

I already know which one they should do next: The Helicarrier from The Avengers

I also vote for the Die Hard scene!

Also love the show I cant wait to see mo...

...captcha: Neckbeard


The physics behind the robots in Real Steel and Pacific Rim. Each with their own challenges and niche dynamics.

I already know which one they should do next: The Helicarrier from The Avengers

Heck yes. Weight distribution among the fans, remembering that it was said it could still go with three out of the four fans, and how many nuclear reactors would need to be on that thing to provide the necessary energy for all of the systems on board. Sounds like a lot of good stuff to examine.

Wait, wouldn't the scene already be impossible due to the fact that the cars are relying on kinetic friction to move the car, when static friction tends to be greater then kinetic friction. If even static friction was unable to overcome whatever force was keeping the safe in, how would kinetic friction be able to pull that safe out?

Wait, wouldn't the scene already be impossible due to the fact that the cars are relying on kinetic friction to move the car, when static friction tends to be greater then kinetic friction. If even static friction was unable to overcome whatever force was keeping the safe in, how would kinetic friction be able to pull that safe out?

That was alluded to in the video. As soon as the tires started to spin one of them said something like, if this was going to work it would have moved right then. Everything after the tire spin was just to illustrate how much it wouldn't work.

Calculate the structural integrity of the Vipers in Battlestar Galactica, see if it's possible to push one back into the landing strip like Starbuck did in the premier episode.Or the amount of energy needed to open the Wormhole in The Avengers.
Also: way to milk that mu joke :P

I love the new Battlestar series even though the general audience hated the ending. Count me as a fan overall of the show. The Viper sequence might be a fun to try... I will keep it in mind.

The mu jokes were udderly terrible! ;)

Jason Dean

snip Will you focus on newer movies?

Well, that's a good question. We are trying to gauge feedback from the audience on whether we need to stick to "recent" movies from say the last 10 years or so... or can we still hit movies from the 90s and 80s and not alienate the audience here. It's tough to say... I have been a huge movie buff since the 70s when I first saw Star Wars in the theater at age 4... so I would love to keep it open to covering whatever movies we want... but we need to figure out if you guys will know what the heck we're am referring to! HA! The feedback we get on newer movies versus old will help us decide how far back and how often we will cover the older stuff.

Thanks for supporting the show!

Jason Dean

Watched the movie because of this. It was alright.

Scarim Coral:
So I can assume the bank vault would of easily smash that tree to bits?

My suggestion- Indiana Jones using the lead reinforce fridge to escape that Nuclear (or maybe not seeing how the calculation the injury he would of/ wouldn't receive is too hard to calculate?).

Would be relatively easy to calculate the radiation dosage he would receive.

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