# Preemptive Mythbusters post – jumping on a see-saw

Last night was Wednesday, so of course I watched Mythbusters. You never know when a good blogging opportunity will come up. I could talk about the kinetic energy of arrows, but instead let me talk about their episode for next week. I only caught a glimpse of it in the preview. It looks like they are doing something about jumping on a see-saw and launching the other person. It could be this video they are looking at:

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From my analysis of this video, I found that the likely outcome was a broken board (if it were not fake). Also, if the person went significantly high, he would experience something like 62 g’s. In that position, a person could only take 18 g’s for less than 0.01 second. Ok – so that one is fake.

Here is another video with similar physics that I think is NOT fake.

My analysis of this video makes it seem possible (real). Here is a diagram from that analysis.

If you are interested, check out the physics in those two links. If this is what the Mythbusters are doing next week – HA! I beat them to it. Well, I didn’t reproduce it and they probably will.

1. #1 Uncle Al
May 14, 2009

The same sort of leverage can be condensed by dropping a stack of balls. Biggest one at the bottom of the stack (basketball), them progressively smaller (soccer ball, softball, squash ball). The small ball at the top is a lethal projectile shortly after the bottom ball hits. Consider the Republican party configuration in which Oprah is at the bottom and a nascent Palin is at the top. Pull!

2. #2 Nick
September 21, 2009

Hey

Nice post. I saw the episode and was shocked at the height they got on that dummy! I’ll be the first to admit I’m no maths or physics buff, but shouldn’t your analysis contain some reference to the mass and speed of the jumper, jump heights etc? I’m thinking of getting a blob and it would be cool to see what sorts of forces are involved with different sized people/jump heights before I propel small asian kids into orbit.

3. #3 Nick
September 21, 2009