Dear Seth, don't try this experiment at home.
First of all lets get the foot-pounds into an equivalent energy for a one pound rock. By the way, a foot-pound has units of energy, not force. I feel more comfortable working in metric units so using the conversion factor of 1 foot-pound = 1.356 Newton-meters so set E = 1356. A Newton-meter is the same as a Joule. Now one pound is equal to 0.454 kilograms. Equating this energy with kinetic energy, E = 1/2 mv2
, we can solve for the velocity of the rock obtaining v2
= (2 E)/m, or, doing the arithmetic; v = 77.24 meters per second. Converting back to English units using 1 m/sec = 2.24 mph you get 173 miles per hour.
I don't think you would like to be hit anywhere on your body by a one pound object going at 173 mph.
Another way to see that is that 1000 ft-lbs of energy in a 1 lb object gives it the same energy as if it were in free frictionless fall for 1000 ft. Same conclusion. Mike W.
(published on 01/20/11)