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When jumping into hyperspace, make sure you wear a seat belt

It’s another year and may another Star Wars Day-4 be with you. Following my tradition, I will go take some item tik Star Wars and do some fresh physics. For this year’s post, I’m going to go to the end The empire is attacking. The great thing about using this film is that it’s so old — over 40 years old — that I don’t have to worry about spoilers. I mean, if you haven’t seen it so far, will you really see it?

Here is the scene: Leia, Lando and Chewbacca use it The Millennium Hawk To escape the imperial forces of Bespin. When he got outside, he took Luke (he was literally hanging around). When they get off the planet, of course, Darth Vader is there to catch up with his Star Destroyer. Lando says, “Oh, no biggie. Let’s jump to the speed of light and get out of this system.” Well, that doesn’t work. The Imperials have disabled hyperdrive.

R2-D2 is the real hero here. He is on the boat Hawk Talk to the Bespin central computer — you know, share lubrication techniques and gossip about the nonsense the C-3PO says. The central computer comes back with a rumor: the hyperdrive is turned off. So now R2 knows what to do. It flips over, and makes a switch gesture – boom. There you go Hawk, immediately into hyperspace. Luckily they’re looking for where they’re going and they won’t hit the planet or anything like that.

Now fresh physics. When the starship jumps into hyperspace, R2 flies back Hawk. It appears that the driver was in a turbocharged bus when he hit the gasoline, and no seat belt is included. If we take the interior of the bus as a frame of reference, then we will have to add false force to account for the acceleration. I mean, it doesn’t have to be a fake force. According to Einstein’s principle of equivalence, there is no difference between the acceleration reference frame and the gravitational force.

So in the acceleration frame of reference Hawk, there seems to be a gravitational force that pushes in the opposite direction like acceleration. The magnitude of this force on R2 would be equal to its mass multiplied by the acceleration of the spacecraft. If R2 has no friction wheels (or at least very little friction), then Hawk accelerating forward would accelerate backward in terms of the frame of the ship. That’s a good thing, because I have to measure the acceleration of R2 from the inside of the spacecraft.

This will allow us to do some video analysis. If I know the size of the topic Hawk, then I can specify the position of R2 in each video frame. Also, with the known frame rate I can get time for each of these positions. For the distance scale, I will use it R2-D2 height and the frame rate embedded in the video (for playback at the right speed). It’s the tool I like the most to get that data Tracker video analysis. (It’s free.) Of course, there are some small issues with this analysis. The camera is cracked and zoomed, but I can compensate for that movement by looking at how R2 moves against the wall. With this, I will get the plot of the following position and time:


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