Learn Physics The Angry Birds Way

I’m a bit of a physics hobbyist. That doesn’t mean that I understand or can even converse in the language of motion, but I love reading about it.

So you can imagine my delight when ElectricPig wrote up something about a physics professor using Angry Birds to teach students about physics. Turns out he’s not the only one, there’s a slew of physics fans who have started using the game in classrooms.

I think Angry Birds‘ rising popularity in classrooms is driven by its overall popularity in pop culture, its direct use of physics and the fact that the game is now playable in a web browser. The fact that it’s playable in a browser means it is much easier to capture your own footage of angry birds laying down a bit of revenge of obnoxious pigs.

Plenty of people have been writing about physics and these cartoon game birds, but my favourite has to be this little video-enhanced physics pop quiz.

I’ve dropped the questions in with each video. I don’t know ANY of these answers but if you want to enlighten us in comments go right ahead. Sound smart enough and I promise I’ll buy it.

1. Make a reasonable estimate for the size of an angry bird, and determine the value of g in Angry Bird World. Why would the game designer want to have g be different than 9.8 m/s²?

2. Does the blue angry bird conserve momentum during its split into three?

3. Does the white bird conserve momentum when it drops its bomb? Why would the game designer want the white bird to drop its bomb the way that it does?

4. Describe in detail how the yellow bird changes velocity. You will need to analyse more than one flight path to answer this question.

5. Shoot an angry bird so that it bounces off one of the blocks. Determine the coefficient of restitution and the mass of the angry bird.

Angry Birds in the Physics Classroom [Action-Reaction, via ElectricPig]

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