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Can you escape a FALLING TREE?

August 24, 2019

Tragically, 5 people have been killed by falling trees in Victoria, Australia, this Winter. 

In 3 separate accidents, 4 died when trees crushed the occupants in cars. One victim was a pedestrian.

So if you were walking through a park could you escape a falling tree if you either heard a cracking sound or saw the tree starting to fall?

With thanks to Physics Stack Exchange.

For an inverted pendulum near the top of its arc, there is no period, but the quantity ℎ/𝑔 does represent a characteristic time scale for this system. The tree will take a few of these characteristic times to fall.

Mathspig hates seeing an old tree felled, but it does give us the necessary time data.

 

There are many assumptions in these calculations.

*You’d be hit by the tree trunk, not a branch which would hit you sooner.

*There is no wind pushing the tree over.

*The tree falling is an approx to a reverse pendulum.

 

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