07.12.11

Scientists fling themselves into the physics of Angry Birds

The work of Rhett Allain, associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University and science blogger for Wired.com, inspired physics teacher John Burk to combine beloved indie game Angry Birds with the study of physics. And so far, Burk’s experiment has been pretty darn successful —having encouraged his students to analyze the physics of other games as well. But why would anyone want to study the physics of a fictional environment? Burk explains why Angry Birds is the perfect scientific testing ground: 

“We’re using physics to explore this completely new video game world. We get to ask questions just like scientists ask when they’re trying to figure out the atmospheric composition of a planet, or the motion of a new never before seen asteroid,” said John Burk, a physics teacher at Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Ga. “What are the laws of physics in the ‘Angry Birds’ world? My students get a chance to be scientists, and be among the first to find the answer to this question.”

If only our high school physics classes had been this much fun. 

-Lana Polansky

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