The Physics of Angry Birds updated for Space
Ah, remember the early days of Angry Birds? Back when we were still fascinated by those frustrated feathered creatures and the hogs they so vehemently want to take down? That's when writer and physicist Rhett Allain published his original "Physics of Angry Birds" article, which used the original game to examine some real-life physics theory and equations.
Now, Allain is back to take a look at the Angry Birds Space sequel/spinoff/update and the physics contained therein. As you might imagine, there's quite a bit to work with here -- the Space version includes gravity around smaller planets, so Allain is able to actually go through the various equations that govern movement between two different bodies.
It's a nice long read (especially interesting if you're into math and physics, of course), but basically Allain finds that the birds aren't really dealing with gravity, just a coded representation of such. And perhaps more interestingly, Allain also says that the Space version of the birds contains pretty much, in a physics sense, the same slingshot as the original version. This makes sense (it's easier to code, obviously, having already done it once), but it also means that even though birds are floating through space in the spinoff, and flying across the ground in the first title, they're still starting with that same initial speed and force in both.
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