Modelling the man who fell to earth

On the Wolfram blog, there’s a nice article analysing Felix Baumgartner’s recent supersonic skydiving feat in terms of (reasonably) elementary Newtonian mechanics. They show how to calculate his trajectory by integrating the governing equation in Mathematica: for those of you who haven’t heard of it, this is a package which offers similar features to Maple, and although the syntax is a bit different you should be able to work out roughly what’s going on. It’s a good illustration of how the tools we develop for mathematical modelling at an undergraduate level can be applied to unexpected problems!

Thanks to Ben Snow for the tip-off.

(DP)

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