P4_3 Total Free Fall

James Nelms, Declan Roberts, Suzanne Thomas, David Starkey


This paper analyses the logistics of The Fall, a fictional elevator through the Earth in the 2012 film Total Recall. In the film, it is claimed that the elevator can make its journey in 17 minutes by free falling through the centre of the planet. By modelling the actual free fall of an object in a vacuum through the Earth, it is shown that this trip would in fact take over 42 minutes. Drag forces were then considered, showing that without an external force The Fall would enter damped harmonic motion and would never reach its destination.

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