Running, a Scientific Guide

“Credit goes to Max Sandberg for helping me finish.” -Max Sandberg

Veloci ty
This guy has to outrun the explosion using velocity. Velocity is described as the direction and speed at which an object is moving. This guy is moving about 7 m/s away from the explosion. Also, if you want to be technical, the legs and arms’ speed are also important, as they help determine what speed the guy moves at.

Accelerat ion
Notice how this guy has a different velocity in each of these three pictures. How did he do this? Through ACCELERATION. For those who do not know, and are too lazy to check back on the first slide, this means his velocity changed, in this case in direction (he turned) and speed (he got faster). For him, his velocity increased until he reached his maximum velocity in the final panel. I predict he will have to slow down in the future, so I think our little friend here will be changing his acceleration again. Hahaha.

Balanced and Unbalanced
Notice how in the first picture the person does not appear to be moving. This is because the guy has BALANCED FORCES. This means that the forces acting upon him all equal out. This is good, because he does not look like he would want to move, being too comfortable. Now direct your attention to the picture on the right. This guy appears to be walking, or at least he would if he were here right now. How did he become able to move? It is quite simple, really. His legs pushed against the ground (which I will explain how later), creating a force that made him unbalanced, therefore moving forward.

Gravit y
Look at the picture to the right. Not a good situation to be in. How did this happen? Will the person get hurt? Could this happen to me? All these questions may be answered by studying gravity. Gravity is basically the force something exerts that brings other objects towards its center. This is mainly true for massive objects, such as Earth. Why are you not falling? Gravity is pulling towards Earth. Easy, right? This guy is falling towards Earth at an unknown velocity, for the time is unknown (you could determine his velocity if you knew how long ago he started falling). To apply this to running, pretend the guy is standing on that pillar (the world is sideways). His leg comes down after he jumps forward because gravity allows it. Without gravity he could not be moving. In fact, without gravity, he would be dead and not on Earth.

Air Resistanc e
Woah, is that guy running so fast that the wind is cutting into him, blurring the image? Sure, that works for my explanation of air resistance. Air resistance is easily described as air not wanting to move, so as the guy moves through it, it tries to push him back, effectively slowing him down more and more as his velocity increases. This, as most runners are not that fast for it to affect them much, provides them with a method of cooling off. For this runner, who is particularly fast, however, the wind is holding him up. “Why can I not run faster!?” Air resistance, troubled runner.

Inerti a
Take a look at the picture at right. Notice how the girl appears to be falling off of the treadmill. How did this happen? What does this have to do with inertia? Normally, a runner would be running just fine on the treadmill, and then lower the acceleration until it stops. This runner perhaps took a faulty step on the side of the machine, and is now being launched backwards. To figure out why this happened, imagine the treadmill represents the Earth moving normally. Her stepping off of “Earth” completely changed her acceleration. On Earth she was moving normal. After a visit to other place, her speed lowers. When she returns to “Earth,” her speed is so low, she is launched backwards. Inertia is the tendency for objects in motion to stay in motion and same for rest. Her inertia was too small to allow her to survive on fast-moving world.

Newton’s 2nd Law
Ahah, a visit from suit guy again. This time, much like the last, he shows us the art of running clothed. This will do for my lesson on Newton’s 2nd law, which states “F=MA.” For runners, as they all should know, this means the force that they should use to finish the race depends on how fast they want to move, how heavy they are, and if they can exert that much force for that long. The latter part adds a little to the formula, so now, “F-X=MA when X is the variable that contains all impossible speeds to maintain.” With this handy equation, you can tell just how to be like this guy. Follow your hero and run fully-clothed!


Take a look at happy-guy on the left. Why is he so happy? The answer is simple as the last I said was simple. He does not have to feel uncomfortable by needing to move. However, secretly he is exerting all the force of his body against the ground, which he also does not know is pushing the same force back at his legs. Think of it as a revenge force. Now look at secret agent guy on the right. He has to run away from the evil guys chasing him, so he moves slightly differently. He pushes harder against the ground and backwards, so the floor pushes him the opposite way with the same force, making him move forward. With the type of speed he looks he is getting, he should have no problem outrunning happy-guy.



Acceleration Graph

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