Angry Birds: The physics phenomenon
There are now countless media presentations and over a million Google hits on “physics teaching angry birds” due to efforts of folks like Rhett Allain, Frank Noschese, and Michael Magnusson. Basically, these authors apply video analysis methods to objects’ pseudo-projectile motion taken from the invented world of the Angry Birds video game by the Finnish company Rovio. Many of the motions of these objects represent impossible, yet informative and analyzable, physics models. The game is a runaway international hit; early editions were recently provided free of charge to users of the Google Chrome browser at www.chrome.angrybirds.com/.
Rhett Allain of Southeastern Louisiana University Physics seems to have started things off in his entertainingly whimsical dotphysics blog on physics, life and teaching at www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/10/physics-of-angry-birds, analyzing the Rovio game walkthroughs.
Frank Noschese of John Jay HS and Michael Magnuson of Canisius HS next developed student questions and activities posted in Noschese’s excellent physics teaching blog action-reaction at www.fnoschese.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/angry-birds-in-the-physics-classroom.