As many of you are no doubt aware, Pixar’s latest film opens this weekend. I have yet to see the film, so I’m sure I am spoiling nothing by telling you that part of the film involves an old man flying through the sky by means of balloons that are attached to his house.
Do not try this at with your home.
Given that I have yet to see the film, you may wonder how I could possibly hope to connect it to mathematics. Thankfully, I don’t have to – the work has been done for me by Alexis Madrigal over at Wired.com, who wrote an article discussing the feasibility of using balloons to take to the skies in one’s own home.
His assumptions are that the house weighs roughly 100,000 pounds, and that the balloons are spherically shaped with a diameter of three feet, which may seem large at . . . → Read More: Math in the Movies: Up