Reel Physics: Indiana Jones 4: Crystal Skull - Nuking the Fridge

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Superbun:
I figure I'll contribute some of my own Math to the "would he survive the landing?"

So we have an ageing movie star in a fridge travelling at 40ms-1. The fridge appears to roll to a stop when it hits the ground rather than stopping dead, so let's say that the fridge decelerates over the space of twenty seconds, which gives us a deceleration of 40/20=2ms-2. Using F=ma again, we can calculate the force on Indy during this deceleration (200lb = ~91kg) F=91*2=182N Which equates to about 182/9.81=18.5 kilograms of force. Which probably wouldn't be particularly enjoyable, and Indy might have a couple of broken bones but he should definitely be able to walk away.

This is only taking into account the horizontal velocity of the fridge and not taking into account any extra velocity it picked up from gravity. I'm only an A-level physics student, so feel free to point out my mistakes call my mathematics a load of rubbish.

This.

You want a job as a third co-host? LOL!!
Thanks for chiming in. We love to see posts from people who know what they are talking about. ;)

Jason Dean
REEL PHYSICS

Tuesday Night Fever:
It's possible Indy would have been dead anyway. Prior to the Refrigerator Safety Act of 1956 (which didn't even take effect until October of '58) many refrigerators had latches that couldn't be opened from the inside.

Yea, we talked about this at length... and it is EXTREMELY possible that once inside, he would have not been able to escape from it. Buttttttt, that has nothing to do with the physics of the event and we have to let certain things slide and move on to the mathy stuff. ;)
Also, it's hyperbole and can't be proven or dis-proven one way or another and doesn't really calculate into any of the equations so we just have to make reasonable assessments on what makes a good show and what doesn't. This was our longest episode so far and this was even after we cut out a lot of information we wanted to share.

Thanks for your feedback and for watching.

Jason Dean
REEL PHYSICS

UNHchabo:
You based the g-force calculations on 1/4" of lead, and said an unlined fridge would result in about 25g.

Where did that quarter-inch figure come from? If it was 1/8" or 1/16", that would result in much higher force being exerted, making the blast less survivable.

If the upper limit is 25g's, I believe that's still survivable, but you'd definitely pass out, and probably be injured, even ignoring getting tossed around the inside of a fridge by those forces. But injuries sustained from the fridge bouncing around could kill you as well depending on what parts of the body are hit. The point is though, the forces being exerted alone are survivable. I'm pretty sure you have to get around 50g's for the g-forces alone to be lethal from watching years of Mythbusters. I can't remember when or which groups have done testing on that, but at one point they basically strapped people to rocket sleds to hit them with over 50g's of acceleration just to see how much a person could take.

I wouldn't mind finding out where those figures come from though just for the sake of knowing.

As for where the quarter inch figure came from, they probably just took that as a reasonable estimate for shielding in actual equipment which wouldn't result in the fridge weighing a ridiculous amount. As it is, the estimate for the lead lined fridges weight seemed fairly preposterous. But since a fridge with no lead is theoretically survivable, anything between that and a quarter inch is theoretically survivable as well.

Great Episode!

I do wonder why you guys didn't just try to find the weight/mass of an old lead lined fridge, I would think that there would be specs that would tell you the mass plus the lead thickness. I guess you tried, this works just as well anyway.

Plus its funny to think that if the director didn't have the fridge flying all over the place the scene would have been a lot more believable.

Addendum,
Your explanation of the blast wave was interesting, but I feel that is was unnecessary, since you didn't use anything but the wind speed and didn't touch on it again. The FAS document I'm reading right now (which I'm sure you guys used) said that both static over pressure and dynamic over pressure cause damage to structures, but the dynamic is much more spectacular. Plus the video suggests the [smoke coming off the wood structures] is caused by the static overpressure,when I thought it was by the heat from the bomb reaction.
No one else is probably bothered by this, and the video still gets its point across.

Edit:
You guys did touch on it again, and there is still a lot of info you didn't (but indubitably wanted to) cover, so I completely understand. Man, this one should'a been a two part-er!

frag971:
It realy hurts my ears every time you say "nuquelar". It's nuCLEAR, not nuquelar. :S

Otherwise great show, keep them coming!

I read that as New-quail-er. Or New-quell-er.

Did I miss something or did they not address the impact of the fridge hitting the ground? Which, to me seems like the most important part?

Anakinnnn:

Thanks for chiming in. We love to see posts from people who know what they are talking about. ;)

Jason Dean
REEL PHYSICS

Well, I rarely know what the heck I am talking about, but I like chiming in just to say I really like this series :)
Keep it up!

Thank you so making the slow-mo scenes way less choppy than the previous episodes! Next week, hopefully something space related?

It's nuclear, not nucular. Stop saying it like George W. Bush, regular butcher of the English language.

How do you even get "nuclear" to sound like "nucular"? Probably the same way you get "et cetera" to sound like "exetera"...

Kenjitsuka:
He slams into the ground, unrestrained in a massive fridge, flying such a huge distance at 145 KPH, and walks away?
You should compare that 145 KPH with car crash data, because I am not buying it.
When you hit something that fast you're dead in two minutes from internal heamorhaging imho.

In a car you have much more open space to fly around and bash into stuff, in a fridge you might have a few inches to shift back and fourth, with that little room you can't build up the momentum to impact the sides with any real force.

I've always thought this scene was more realistic than people give it credit.

image

I had always thought of this to be the most likely outcome. Also, here's an unpopular opinion, but I actually really liked Indiana Jones 4, so there you go.

I'm not buying him surviving the impact of the fridge against the ground.

The rest, fine, but at that speed, completely unrestrained, cushioned by metal slamming into the ground?

Because the whole "Deceleration over time" thing doesn't seem very significant. It still impacts twice at high speed. Furthermore, the time of deceleration is AT BEST 6 or 7 seconds.

Otherwise, great episode. Loving the show.

The Gentleman:
We all thought this scene was kind of cool

I stopped watching the movie at this point and played on my DS, all because of this scene.

The Gentleman:

And now I know that I could theoretically survive a nuclear blast inside a refrigerator. No more "put your hands between your knees and kiss your butt goodbye" for me...

As of 70 years ago maybe... Nukes are far more powerful than A-bombs.

OlasDAlmighty:

In a car you have much more open space to fly around and bash into stuff, in a fridge you might have a few inches to shift back and fourth, with that little room you can't build up the momentum to impact the sides with any real force.

Given how much damage your brain can suffer from impacts against what little space there is between it and your skull, I'm not buying it. Also what's keeping that fridge closed? Because the magnetic seals we use today wouldn't stay cut it.

Draconalis:

The Gentleman:
We all thought this scene was kind of cool

I stopped watching the movie at this point and played on my DS, all because of this scene.

The Gentleman:

And now I know that I could theoretically survive a nuclear blast inside a refrigerator. No more "put your hands between your knees and kiss your butt goodbye" for me...

As of 70 years ago maybe... Nukes are far more powerful than A-bombs.

Uhhh... an atom bomb (aka: a fission bomb) is a nuclear weapon.

On a totally unrelated note: *thumbs up for the Nana to Kaoru avatar*

Henkie36:
Wow, I did not see that coming. There's actually a hint of truth in one of the most ridiculously over the top scenes from the past decade. Hmm.

I also found a great one in the movie Sunshine: There is one scene where they have to travel through open space without suits, only a thin layer of isolation. Would that be possible?

As long as they can still breath and eyes are covered it is totally possible.

The Gentleman:

Uhhh... an atom bomb (aka: a fission bomb) is a nuclear weapon.

Yes, but in lieu of a modern day term I was shooting for something to differentiate it. An old school A-bomb is to a modern day nuke as a firework is to dynamite.

The Gentleman:

On a totally unrelated note: *thumbs up for the Nana to Kaoru avatar*

I likes what I likes. ♥

o.0

that's kinda surprising, I'd have thought this would have been total BS.

Tuesday Night Fever:
It's possible Indy would have been dead anyway. Prior to the Refrigerator Safety Act of 1956 (which didn't even take effect until October of '58) many refrigerators had latches that couldn't be opened from the inside.

Dammit, ninja'd!

This was always my gripe with the scene too - aside from all the flying through the air and the radiation and everything, how was he planning on getting out of the fridge afterwards?!? :P

"Gopher it."

I wasn't ready for that. Can we start over so I don't laugh and spit my drink all over my computer screen?

Anakinnnn:

AlexanderPeregrine:
Guys, it's pronounced New Klee Er, not New Cool Er. You sound like Sarah Palin.

Actually.... it's only two syllables. NEW-CLEAR.
:)
Jason Dean
REEL PHYSICS

...ACTUALLY... =)

The phonetic spelling is [nuˈ kliˌ ɚ], or [NOO-Clee-Urr] which is three syllables; the r-colored schwa is nominally its own syllable. Also, @AlexanderPeregrine, the mispronunciation is [nuˈ kjuˌ lɚ]; the [j] defines the "YOU" syllable.

That said, REALLY well done video! As a lifelong nuclear engineering enthusiast it was nice to see somebody actually take that scene apart and demonstrate the surprising truth in that scene. (The movie still sucked, though. MY CHILDHOOD!) All of that math is good. Of course, the idea of having a 1/4' lead lining in a fridge is a bit ridiculous for obvious reasons but even if it were less massive he still would likely survive. Great video guys, thanks for putting all of this together! The amount of research you did really shows.

Orbot_Vectorman:

So, could one survive transferring from starship to starship like was shown on Titan A.E. ?

I will answer this for you instead as I have read several scientific articles and magazines on this very subject.

Yes, completely survivable.

If one exhales all of the air out of their lungs they will not rupture during the sudden decompression from gas expansion. The human body however will expand 2 to 3 times its normal volume but because of cartilage one would resemble a body builder and not a balloon, the body can take this with little more than stretch marks and a few lesions.

Furthermore one retains consciousness for roughly 12-15 seconds before blacking out and dieing of oxygen deprivation rough 60-90 seconds later. Additionally one begins to immediate breath again when exposed to an atmosphere. Your blood does not boil because it is already under pressure however in some places in your body it will assume a semi gaseous state however this will not affect its ability to provide at least some oxygen to the places where it needs it.

Aside from the rapid expulsion of gases in your lungs harmlessly frosting the moisture on their surfaces, the body will not freeze as thermal conductivity cannot happen in a vacuum where the particle density is just too low to steal heat.

Titan A.E. got it right on many accounts including K/Corso telling Cale to exhale and the appearance of lesions on his body in the medical bay afterwords.

Interesting analysis, but if feels like you skipped an important part - what about the landing, where a flying fridge crashes into the ground while also going at over 100 MPH? Is that survivable?

wow. sure a bit surprised with some of the facts you gave us.
ok, so he would have survived the blast in the fridge but yeah, his bones would smashed the way he was hitting the ground.

1. He'd emerge from the fridge a bag of broken bones and blood.

2. The fridge door would not stay closed. He would be propelled out and incinerated.

3. This is silly. Of course a nuclear blast is not survivable by jumping into a fridge, even a fairytale, lead-lined, 700+ pound one.

Kanatatsu:
1. He'd emerge from the fridge a bag of broken bones and blood.

2. The fridge door would not stay closed. He would be propelled out and incinerated.

3. This is silly. Of course a nuclear blast is not survivable by jumping into a fridge, even a fairytale, lead-lined, 700+ pound one.

any numbers to back that up? The show provided numbers and one of the other posters gave numbers, so where are your calculations?

i think it comes down to two things. the house collapsing on him and trapping him the fridge or him exiting the fridge to die of radiation poisoning.

Kanatatsu:
1. He'd emerge from the fridge a bag of broken bones and blood.

2. The fridge door would not stay closed. He would be propelled out and incinerated.

3. This is silly. Of course a nuclear blast is not survivable by jumping into a fridge, even a fairytale, lead-lined, 700+ pound one.

Every one of those statements has been discussed, either in the episode itself, or in previous comments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UDnTJcjPhY

You guys should teach Maths you make it so much more interesting.

Lol, Woman in Black when they're pulling out the carriage from the marshlands.

Out-takes are still always awesome.

Green screen quality in this episode seemed a little worse than usual, more like in the first one.

Well it was obvious that it couldnt happen as it is, just common sense really, he would be in such a mess on the landing....also whats holding that fridge door shut? lol. Now my issue is when he empties the fridge, why is there stuff in there, especially fresh fruit, in a fake home that was just going to be destroyed. Were they testing whether an orange could survive a nuclear blast? ;-)

Sutter Cane:

Kanatatsu:
1. He'd emerge from the fridge a bag of broken bones and blood.

2. The fridge door would not stay closed. He would be propelled out and incinerated.

3. This is silly. Of course a nuclear blast is not survivable by jumping into a fridge, even a fairytale, lead-lined, 700+ pound one.

any numbers to back that up? The show provided numbers and one of the other posters gave numbers, so where are your calculations?

No numbers needed. Drive a car at 90mph and slam into a solid surface without any safety belts or air bags. This means death, hell that would be mildly survivable even with air bags and seat belts. Numbers dont prove anything, after all luck can play a part or even talent. Some people can hold their breath for 5 mins, most cant. So names can prove you can survive without air underwater for 5 mins, but only if you talented and trained your body. 99% of the people on this planet would drown.

I just wanted to say that I'm really enjoying your show so far and I'm glad you guys have joined the Escapist lineup. I love the way you show your research and calculations, and how you go step by step through everything without making assumptions that the audience has to follow. It makes it really easy to follow along and understand what you're driving at, and really helps to keep the show accessible for those of us who weren't Math/Physics majors in college. =)

Keep up the good work, and I hope to see more episodes!

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