Dot Physics

Flying R2 in simpler terms

Galactic Binder (a Star Wars fan site) invited me to write an article for them. Obviously, I said “yes”. But what to write about? I decided to write a different version of my flying R2-D2 post. What is different? In my original post, I go into a lot of details. Essentially, that post is like most of my other ones where I am thinking out loud. I used to work out the answer and then write the post, but I like it this way better.

Here is the Galactic Binder post:

Aristotle, Newton, and R2-D2

So, in this Galactic Binder post, I don’t go into the details. Basically, I just use the flying R2 as an example of forces. In particular, the difference between the way Aristotle and most of the people think about forces and how Newton thinks about forces.

Speaking of flying R2-D2, this was one of my most popular posts of all time. Why? I think there are a few features that made it popular.

  • It included some popular context. In this case, Star Wars. If I had written a post about Fisher Price toys, it might not have been as popular.
  • It had a short answer. The short answer was that R2 must weigh about 100 grams. Actually, this is funny. A lot of blogs that linked to my post said something like “R2 weighs less than styrofoam.” That is not what I said. I said that R2 would have a density lower than styrofoam.
  • The physics wasn’t too complicated.

Anyway, I found it not so easy to reframe this post into something useful. Hopefully, it turned out ok.