Of course, immediately after I finish a video I realize that I came to an incorrect conclusion. For the fun of it, I’ll post what I was working on below. See if you can figure out where I was wrong (answer after the video).

“We could be wrong…”

If you break down the equations, you’ll actually discover that mass cancels out when calculating the initial velocity of the projectile. In other words, mass doesn’t actually matter. This experiment explores the way in which the Source engine handles an aerial faith plate’s acceleration and velocity more than it does mass. Mass easily could have been arbitrarily high or low and it wouldn’t have affected our results. Unlike what I said in the video, this experiment does not show that mass is an internally consistent variable. Whoops. However, this video does a good job of showing how well Source handles projectile motion, so I’m posting it for now. Expect a follow up with objects of varying mass.

sv_cheats 1 (only needs to be done once)
noclip (lets you fly around the room)
phys_timescale 0 (freezes objects in the game)
phys_timescale 1 (lets objects move normally again)
impulse 200 (removes/replaces portal gun)

[…] If you remember from last time, I calculated the amount of work being exerted by an aerial faith plate, then used my answer to calculate the distance a projectile would fly. I asserted that if I could predict where the projectile would land using the amount of work being done, then work is a measurement that is actually conserved by an aerial faith plate. The only problem is that in calculating the initial velocity of a projectile off an aerial faith plate, equal masses cancel out. Equating work to kinetic energy and solving for velocity, we find that: […]

[…] If you remember from last time, I calculated the amount of work being exerted by an aerial faith plate, then used my answer to calculate the distance a projectile would fly. I asserted that if I could predict where the projectile would land using the amount of work being done, then work is a measurement that is actually conserved by an aerial faith plate. The only problem is that in calculating the initial velocity of a projectile off an aerial faith plate, equal masses cancel out. Equating work to kinetic energy and solving for velocity, we find that: […]