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Batmans Escape

From The Pit

Problem Statement

The goal is to prove Batman's rise from prison is physically possible.

Background/Physics Concepts
The Failed Climb Portion (dynamics & work) Real World Numbers
Pulley Part
Work Mass of Bruce Wayne - 82kg
Force Tension
Coefficient of Friction Between Rope and Metal Pole - 0.23
Force Friction
Force Gravity Gravity - 9.81 m/s/s
Force Applied
Climbing Part/Wall Breaking (dynamics & breaking force)
Force Gravity
Force Normal
Work Energy Theorem
Falling Part (velocity, conservation of energy, acceleration)
Potential Energy
Kinetic Energy
The Successful Climb Portion
Force Gravity
Force Normal
Force Applied
The Solution Explained : Pulley

TIme : 30s
The first time Bruce attempts to rise from the pit he has a rope attached to him and he is hoisted up to the first
stepping/climbing stone. Although no height to which he was hoisted is given for the sake of this analysis my personal
guess is around 10 meters.

Bruce weighs 82 kg thus we can easily calculate the force gravity on his body by using newton's second law.

Fg = ma

Fg = (82 kg)(9.81m/s/s)

Fg = 804N

The work that the secondary character has to do to lift Bruce is equivalent to the force of gravity times the distance
Bruce travels which in this scenario is 10 meters.

W lift = f * d

W lift = 804N * 10 m

W lift = 8040 Joules

This seems relatively simple, and it is, but we are forgetting to take into account a major factor and that is the existence of friction. To find out the
actual amount of work that is done to lift Bruce we have to add the work done against friction to that of the work done to lift Bruce in general. We
know that the coefficient of friction between rope and pole is 0.23 but in the movie it is rope against rock; there is no recorded value of coefficient of
friction between rope and stone, so we will assume it is about .30 which is greater than 0.23 to account for stone being rougher than stone.

W f = Ff * d

W f = Fg * coefficient friction * d

W f = 804N * 0.3 * 10m

W f = 2,412 Joules

We now add Work Lift to Work Friction to calculate the total amount of work needed to lift Bruce

Work Lift + Work Friction = Work Total

8040 Joules + 2412 Joules = 10,452 Joules

The Solution Explained : Climb/Wall Break

TIme : 35s
The next part of Batman's escape that we will be analyzing is the one at which the climbing stone he grabs breaks and he falls . This part is not
that hard to analyze because we know that every stone he grabs onto is going to apply a force equal to his weight onto the stone.

Fapp due to gravity = Fg

Fapp due to gravity = 82kg * 9.81m/s/s

Fapp due to gravity = 804 N

But one thing we have to account for is that he jumps and lands on the block that breaks so I have to factor in the force due to potential energy
he creates from that little leap of about 10 inches (.254 meters)

Potential energy = Fg * h

Potential energy = 804 N * .254 meters

Potential Energy = 204 Joules

We now can find out how much force this potential energy is equal to by using the work energy theorem which states that change in energy is
equal to force times distance; in moving this equation around we can calculate how much additional force Bruce applies to the block.

204 Joules = f * d

204 Joules = f * 0.254 meter

f = 204 joules/0.254 meters

f = 803 N
We can now add this to his force gravity to find the actual force Bruce applies to the stone causing it to break

Fg + F due to potential energy = Fapp

804 N + 803 N = Fapp

Fapp = 1607 N

The stone he grabs onto has a surface area of roughly 16 square inches if we assume the stones dimensions are 2 *
8. When we do the math to see how much force he applies per square inch it comes out to be:

1607 N / 16 in2

100 N/ In2

The reason that the stone breaks and Bruce falls is that the stone seems to be about 4 thick and for a person to
apply 100 N/ In2 of force to a block that thin will for sure cause it to break because the stone is not on a flat surface
it is hanging halfway out making it very susceptible to breakage. The physics continues to hold true up till this part
so we are good.
The Solution Explained : The Fall

TIme : 44s
Now I will analyze the scene in which Batman falls down the pit, at his current height he has a set amount of potential energy. We
know that he was hoisted about 10 meters up already and by the time he falls he seems to have climbed another 15 meters. Thus we will
assume that he is roughly 25 meters above the reference point.

Potential energy = mgh

Potential energy = (82 kg)(9.81/m/s/s)(25m)

Potential Energy = 20,111 Joules

Using our potential energy we can now calculate the maximum velocity that he reaches at the bottom and whether he could survive
those speeds.

mgh = 1/2mv2
v =2gh
v =2(9.81m/s/s)(25m)

V = 22m/s

This means that the peak speed that Bruce reaches during his fall is 22m/s and this is a very survivable speed to be traveling at while
tied to a string, though he will probably have some bruised ribs.

Another thing we can look at is the momentum of his fall and whether it breaks physics principles or not. Momentum is simply velocity
multiplied by mass.

PBruce = (82kg)(22m/s) = 1804 kgm/s

Based on physics we know that momentum must be conserved, and the movie makes it hard to give exact numbers, but visually and
using commonsense we can see that momentum is conserved in that the rope holding him whiplashes upwards at a crazy fast speed and
him hitting the wall transfers momentum to the walls.
The Solution Explained : Success

TIme : 2min 29s

When Bruce tries to escape the second time around he opts to go without the rope and thus we get rid of the whole pulley
portion of the climb

The next thing we look at is why bruce was able to climb without breaking the blocks the second time around. Although
many may think they broke physics principles here in actuality they didn't it's just the manner in which he climbed. This
time around Bruce did not jump to grab blocks thus he only applied

Fapp = Fg

Fapp = (82 kg)(9.81m/s/s)

Fapp = 804 N

Using common mathematics it means that he only applied half the force per square inch on the climbing stones this time
around so

100 N/ In2 / 2

50 N/ In2

This is a much more reasonable force to apply to a 4 inch thick stone, and thus the stone did not break when he used them
to climb.
Finally there was the very last scene in which we see batman run and jump onto the stone ledge and pull himself up. We can use basic dynamics and the work
energy theorem to calculate how much force he applies to the ledge and if it is physically possible for the ledge to support that force.

Fg = (82 kg)(9.81m/s/s)

Fg = 804 N

Now we will calculate the energy created due to his jump; based off of the scene he looks to jump about 3 feet (0.91m) off the ground.

Potential Energy = mgh

Potential Energy = (82 kg)(9.81m/s/s)(0.91m)

Potential Energy = 732 Joules

Next we will use the work energy theorem to find out how much force 732 joules would equate to over the set distance.

Work = Change in energy

F * d = 732 joules

F * 0.91m = 732 Joules

F = 732 Joules/0.91m

F = 804 N

We then add the force due to the jump with that of the force due to gravity

Fg + F jump = Fapp

Fapp = 804N + 804N

Fapp = 1608N
Big concept
Batman's escape from the Pit is possible


- Coefficient of Friction between rope and pole


- Details on Christian Bales height and mass


- Compression Strength vs. Tensile Strength

Good Bye!