The DEADLY Physics of the Halo Rings! | The SCIENCE!… of Halo
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The DEADLY Physics of the Halo Rings! | The SCIENCE!… of Halo

Dear 343 Studios, or Bungie? I mean, I’m talking about stuff that Bungie came up with- *unintelligible rage* Damn it! This is the exact same problem I had last time, ARGH Hi, it’s me, AUSTIN You know, I’m having a little bit of trouble deciding between which pre topic rant to go on There’s the obvious choice of pointing out that the fun I had researching the first Halo video over a year ago was what made me decide to do science full-time, BUT as hot as talking about gamma-ray bursts get me, I have to say that my heart carries a heavy burden this week. On average, in the first year of its life, a baby gets sick at least six times. But it can get sick as many as 12. TURNS out, my baby is an overachiever and has managed to catch not one Not two, but three Separate illnesses in the past five weeks, of which I’ve also been blessed because each time I have also gotten sick as well Awesome! Turns out being Mr. Mom has its drawbacks, but still here. Here we are, magically, with a video being made. And on top of it, I finally collected the horrifying poop story merit badge that seems to be a requirement for every parent I’ll spare you the details and leave it up to your imagination how the stuffed animals Zero we picked up from Disneyland during VidCon momentarily resembled Harvey Dent more than an adorably pristine white ghost Anyway, over a year has passed; YouTube has smote in profanity wielders with content rating chokeholds; PewDiePie continues to be PewDiePie; and finally. After all this time, I have decided to break down the unbelievably cool SCIENCE of halo rings, and the science? The science makes Ok wait a minute hold on hey hey, hey youtube hi. It’s me, Austin! Okay, nevermind. Can just look the other way for a sec? Just-Just over there. Yeah. Yeah, just do okay I’m gonna put these on real quick. Just just for a second you got you got it. Okay good *clears throat* The science makes NO GOD Dam SENSE *sigh* That felt so good to say This has been covered before by a few people including an essay in the novel about halo that covers almost every single Detail but got quite a few things Frickin wrong, but I’m here to set the record straight first Let’s talk about the bases Halos are giant rings that float out in space that come complete with rocks trees grass snow and most importantly Gravity we’ll get to the gravity thing in a bit But I have to just loop back to how utterly gigantic these things are they have a diameter of 10,000 kilometers Which is just two thousand kilometers shorter than the Earth’s meaning if Earth decided to go on a diet It makes the ideal lap-band size just enough to curb that massive appetite but not enough to starve it to death with a width of 318 kilometers this gives halo rings a surface area just shy of 10 million kilometers or 3.8. Million square miles for context that’s enough space to fit the United States Iraq Rwanda Barbados and Paris with just enough space left over to I don’t know have a tiny National Park or something That means there’s enough room to contain the war on terror and a couple of good vacation spot Which is all you really need in life aside from being large though. They produce gravity in an utterly fascinating way rotation specifically Centrifugal force now wait just hold it stop it stop it I know the sound of furious keyboard clacking followed by nasally, but don’t you need said trip a telephone? Oh? No I don’t I don’t have time to get into the difference between the reference frames just to satiate your pedantry since we’re gonna be talking about Objects on a spinning ring centrifugal force is enough for now now go go Whine about it to me on Twitter along with your feelings about photons having mass? Where was I know right artificial gravity long time? Scientists may recall that gravity is a bit weird and that yeah, it’s definitely a thing But Einstein proved that there’s literally Oh difference between acceleration and gravity TLDR if you’re in a box accelerating through space at 1g of acceleration or 9.8 meters per second squared there’s no Experiment you could run that would be able to prove that you were in a box flying through space instead of in a box Sitting on the surface of the earth objects fall light bends all things are literally Exactly the same. This is called the principle of Equivalence there are some problems with this as a long-term solution for gravity in space however first There’s the energy requirements the fuel Requirements in order to maintain this rate of acceleration would be somewhere near the order of having a fuel tank the size of a star secondly accelerating at 9.8 meters per second for a long enough time has Disastrous space-time complications in just under a year you’ll have reached speeds at such a high fraction of the speed of light Relative to the rest of the universe that Effectively you’re running a risk of time travelling directly to the point in time that the entire universe dies in a couple of days in order to get around the relativity problems associated with this constant straight-line acceleration problem enterprising engineers and physicists came up with a secret life hack way of providing constant acceleration without moving in a straight line Rotating rings and here’s how it works good old Isaac Newton told us that an object in motion will stay in motion until acted on by an outside force that outside force is Acceleration and that stay in motion thingy is called inertia So you’re standing on a rotating ring, right? How let’s just stop it right there at this exact moment your body isn’t actually rotating. It’s moving this direction 90 degrees in the direction of the rotation in that exact moment this is called the tangential vector, okay? But let’s okay. Let’s start it up again as the ring rotates It’s pulling you away from that tangential vector at a constant rate as a result You constantly feel a change of direct over time delta v over t AKA Acceleration you feel this force this tangential force as gravity and in almost always It is you can control the amount of gravity something on the surface of your ring Experiences by changing the rotational speed spin faster more acceleration more gravity slower less Etcetera etc, and this is the cool way that halo rings work However since this is a dark attempt to hack the laws of physics according to Sir Isaac Newton and my buddy Einstein it has some serious Drawbacks as is prone to happen when you flirt with the cosmic Kraken But we’ll get to that First we have to know how fast this thing is spinning you see most of the math done on halo rings to date has been assuming a gravitational constant of 9.8. The same as Earth, but if there’s something I’ve learned in my time over analyzing game science It’s to never trust gravity. I love game developers, but I can’t recall the last game I play that actually had a gravitational acceleration of 9.8 Meters per second and halo is no exception through a clever combination of frame by frame analysis pixel measurements and abuse of government-issued equipment I was able to determine that the rate of gravity on a halo ring is a whopping fifteen point one Seven meters per second squared over one and a half G’s which I’m pretty sure you could spend some time on and be Mostly, okay, but it would kind of suck I’d normally weigh about a hundred forty pounds or more Depending upon how recently and how many times I’ve caved and gorged myself on the local central, Illinois Delicacy known as the horseshoe, but on a halo I feel like I weighed 210 freaking pounds, that’s a huge difference? Running on this thing would absolutely Suck thankfully Master Chief is a super soldier with super soldier size glutes the gravity however is the least of the bad news They get so much worse and in order to illustrate Exactly we’re gonna have to talk about guns Hashtag don’t flag me YouTube hashtag. It’s just for the science The good thing about halo rings is the larger your ring the less noticeable the negative drawbacks of tangential acceleration Gravity you experience, but they never ever fully go away in order to pull 1.5. G’s our ring has to rotate slightly slower than one rotation per hour 23.9 five rotations per day and what this seems really slow your Tangential velocity is absurdly fast 8711 meters per second or over 19,000 miles per hour this isn’t a huge deal if you’re already on the ring But it makes actually getting on the ring next to impossible remember. There’s no actual gravity here You’re just experiencing a constant change in direction and speed that means if say you wanted to land on this ring you’d have to match the rotational speed you have to get a spaceship rotating at 19,000 miles per freakin hour without managing to crash into the darn thing with a normal planet with normal gravity You can just kind of skim the surface using the atmosphere to slow you down If you’re trying to do that with a halo ring though. You’d be getting slammed by an atmosphere moving at Mach 25 it shred even the most well armored ship to freaking pieces We’d be tempted to approach this thing from the side, but I do not Recommend this the best chance you have is starting somewhere near the center and trying to match the spin working your way slowly inward still this would take forever and be incredibly difficult to pull off no wonder all the Marines died on impact at the start of halo 1 a high-speed crash combined with a 1000 kilogram masterchief pinballing around the interior of the ship because like some sort of douche bag he decided not to wear a seat belt Those Marines had no chance, but fine. You’re on the ring Oh good now Right wrong the nightmare has just begun because this spinning rings worst characteristic for the modern super soldier is its effect on gunfights which you’ll be Experiencing a lot of running sanctioned ballistic tests on the halo ring I discovered that the muzzle velocity of the assault rifle is exactly 1,000 meters per second awesome that is gonna make my math so much easier And it’s gonna need to be because I have some complicated trigonometry to do things in freefall from the surface of the halo ring experience the worst effects of this tangential acceleration centrifugal force stuff the instant you fire a gun for example And the bullet leaves the barrel it is no longer tied to the surface of the ring its inertial reference frame a term for Well the frame of its the frame of reference you use to measure Physics its inertial reference frame leaves a surface of the ring where your inertial frame is and enters the wider Galaxy you see remember the gravity is caused by your feet being on the ground in your Direction being changed by the rotation of the ring your body is wanting to move in the tangential direction But it stopped by the ring, but as soon as you’re not touching it. You immediately start traveling in a straight line at 8711 meters per second if you’re just jumping you’ll hit the ground pretty soon especially under 1.5 G But if you’re moving faster say if you were a bullet well, you’ll see The easiest way to see this effect is to fire a round straight up into the air It’s traveling straight up at 1,000 meters per second, but it’s also moving at 8711 meters per second to the left in the direction of the rings’ rotation as a result for every second the bullet travels 1,000 meters up and 8711 meters to the left Ignoring the effects of atmospheric drag. Oh god the atmosphere you know that oh, just wait. We don’t get to that It’s not the time yet. What happens if you’re looking at the bullet from outside The ring as it travels in a pretty normal ballistic arc not exactly mind-blowing But let’s snap to your perspective on the ring a gun fired straight up in the air will barring Windfall straight back down if you’re on planet earth well mostly the Coriolis effect does exist on earth But it’s nowhere near as bad as it is on rotating rings while on earth the rotation of a planet can affect the trajectory of a ballistic object by a few inches or feet on a halo ring these bullets end up landing a full 22 kilometers away in the direction of the Rings Rotation this happens for a few different reasons for one thing as the bullet travels further Away from the ring and closer to the center it travels further per second in relation to the ground in the direction of the Rings rotation kind of like how figure skater can spin faster by pulling in their arms but also There’s just the general problem with the ring moving so fast itself this means that any bullet fired any direction is gonna Be affected by this, but as you start firing in directions other than straight up things get even Weirder I actually had the model ease on my computer because the math was far, too Complicated for me to visualize with just numbers if you fire your gun at a 45 degree angle In the opposite direction of the Rings rotation weird stuff happens, I don’t have time to get into the complicated math of ballistics But just like here’s the math if you’re curious since a certain amount of the 8711 per second speed is getting cancelled out combined with the ring curving away from the bullets tangential path a bullet fired in this direction actually experiences less gravity than a bullet fired in the other direction a bullet fired at 45 degrees in the same direction As a rotation as a result Experiences more gravity and falls faster since the tangential speed is getting added to the bullets Horizontal velocity and the ring is curving toward it However since the speed of the ring is so absurdly fast over eight times faster than a bullet even though the round fired in the opposite direction of the rotation Experiences less gravity travels higher and stays in the air longer it actually travels less distance since so much of its horizontal Velocity is robbed by the ring by contrast the bullet fired up the ring hits the ground faster But travels 21 kilometers further and a bullet fired perpendicularly to the Rings rotation would curve to the left and right respectively this isn’t just a problem for sniping this problem creates a 30% difference in accuracy depending upon which direction you’re firing you’d basically have to be Directly in front of someone to have any hope of hitting Anything you’re aiming at and if you fire in the wrong direction at the wrong angle You risk a bullet meant for somebody else turning around and just straight up smacking you in the face And then there’s the weather Well it’s possible to contain in an atmosphere without a roof these angular velocity problems would create the weirdest weather ever Storms would be pretty frequent since the Coriolis effect would be much more exaggerated on this ring than on earth But since the rotation is actually perpendicular to earth so with the storms be perpendicular to earth this means thunderstorms and tornadoes that rotate horizontally Imagine getting sucked up by a tornado that doesn’t even touch the ground the only good thing about this the only thing is that bullets could be rendered completely irrelevant because masterchief weighing one thousand pounds earth and over 1500 pounds on a halo ring wouldn’t have to bother with guns at all He gonna sneak up on the Covenant and jump on their heads like a brutal space bro version of Mario To hell with shooting your enemies with that jump height Master Chief is a living weapon of mass destruction Landing on elites and grunts with the force of a European smart car dropped from a building This is not a place you would want to live you feel fatter You wouldn’t be able to pour water without spilling it and just for sheer horror factor. You’re also sitting on a WMD capable of releasing 599 Quintus iliyan joules of gamma radiation over 100 times the energy released by the most powerful explosion ever Recorded in our universe which was a supernova caused by the merging of two white dwarves and as a result concentrated too much awesome into one place and had to explode to spread it out again, so Yeah Screw these things I wanted to live on one when I was a teenager But I’ve totally changed my mind gun fights are impossible And you risk getting eaten alive by space herpes, just by opening the wrong door screw that This I’m going back to my cartoon shooting game that has adorable girls with death rays quantum mechanical teleportation and sound guns capable of destroying cities sincerely Austin PS. Oh hey, did you know that I came up with the name for those of you who like my show? Scientists are you a scientist then join my discord channel, just follow this link and you can converse with other people who like to show or like Try to tell me I’m wrong about today I’m not though I Did the math? Thank you. Everyone’s watching my video on halo. I hope it does well I was really excited Evan want to do this one for a while it’s been kind of in my back pocket because I Lost still love the halo franchise even after all these years. Even nobody makes the better games than other ones okay? oh, yeah, you should subscribe to the game theorist if you haven’t already and Watch my other videos watch the map head videos watch them catching koopa videos Oh, I don’t remember what my next topic is for next week, so i’m not gonna. Tell you what it is. Yeah?

100 thoughts on “The DEADLY Physics of the Halo Rings! | The SCIENCE!… of Halo

  1. Wait I was assuming the gravity was far less, especially in Combat Evolved, do a jump and it'll take far more time to land back than any other games (nor real life I suspect).

  2. Matt Pat is the only reason I subscribed and Austin keeps pushing me to unsub..he’s just not funny and he just keeps pushing it


  4. The problem with guns would be even worse for the Covenant cause those plasma bolts travel MUCH slower than a bullet (The Needler MIGHT be ok due to its homing properties, I don't know)

  5. Artifical gravity is created mainly from rotational force. Think of it like spinning a bucket of water. Same concept. The only issue is the atmosphere. You would need a way to negate the more harmful radiation from the cosmic rays. Unless it has a magnetic pole system in place to sustain an atmosphere

  6. Hay Austin? I'm dying to know, what would happen if you would wright a word in binary code as a seed in minecraft?

  7. The title: physics don’t make sense in this game.

    Me: when did physics make sense in any games?

  8. Solution to the problem of entering and leaving the halo? Build a space-elevator type beam from one side of the ring to the other, with a docking facility in the middle of the ring.

  9. Well if spaceships can have artificial gravity, I'm just gonna assume that the halo rings do too. I mean they were built by a far more technologically advanced civilization than the humans at the time of the events of Halo CE.

  10. Also doesn't the ring rotate around the vertical axis not the horizontal? Maybe it even rotates around both. Does that change any of the science?

  11. The way I see most of Game Theory’s science videos is “really cool, and a great way to learn stuff & gain a new perspective, but probably not applicable to the fictional wolds they describe”.

    After all, the author is the god of their created universe, and the more overtly fantastical or science-fictiony your world is, the more fast and loose you can play with real-world science, especially for the sake of entertainment value. Lightsabers make next to no sense from a scientific perspective, but who hasn’t fantasized about using one? As long as it can FEEL real to the audience and not break your suspension of disbelief… it’s all fiction. Just don’t try this stuff at home (if your home is a Ringworld.)

  12. You do know that the ring does not spin as fast as ypu think and there are artificial gravity machines on it

    The forerunners built a planet. I think they have gravity machines

  13. You're 140 lbs??!! I'm 140 lbs. AND IM FRIGGIN 14yo!

    I'm also 5'8 so that might change something. Or I'm fat.

  14. I know I'm a kid but I agree with u Austin cetritihogljhblhjhb force is when something goes round and round on a specific object as an ex. a tether ball game so the ball goes round and round but if u were to cut the tether the ball would fling across a certain area depending on where the balls position is thats the main part
    it also depends on the wheat of the object,volume and alot of other things now im going to watch the vid

  15. halo rings dont use just the rings rotation to produce artificial gravity most of the gravity comes from grav generators on the ring itself the atmosphere is just like earths crash landing on the ring wouldnt be a problem the rings do have weather patterns but not crazy exotic weather like you described assuming the halo arrays defense system doesn't blast you into the 9th dimension as soon as you got within 1ly of it you should have really have looked into the rings lore before making this video

  16. Photons will never make sense in the first place because they break the laws of physics or whatever and they actually cause a big giant problem in that science community so they kind of suck in a sense but they actually are possible and feasible in real life so it's such a confusing thing because then you have to break a little bit of law of physics

  17. Annoys me even more because photons and atoms are supposed to have mass how come a photon does not have mask when almost all photons have mass except for a light Photon which makes a know who God dang sins that light does not have mass because it just makes no sense but it does it's true that it has no Mass but it's just annoying because oh my God other atoms have mass so and they're made out of photon so how does that Photon not have mass but light photons do not have masked so you can't really say that a photon has mass because it doesn't but also it does what is wrong with the universe

  18. stop yelling… it ruins your videos and its not funny. Its really childish and its just ear rappy. It also makes you look more stupid than you actually are.

  19. 5:09 said it before Ill say it again. Your rocket has a finite mass and you as a person have mass, If you jumped you push the rocket down, and then for a split second it doesnt have to deal with your weight so itll accel slightly slower than slight faster. (Technically the earth does this too but its hilariously irrelevant) If you make ur rocket so massive that this inertial reference is no longer measurable, you start dealing with the fact the rocket itself will have significant gravity.

  20. The game itself doesn’t make any sense, but the lore could. Just trust that the gravitational force is 1 g and not 1.5. The devs have to change the gameplay a little to make it enjoyable.

  21. >i can't recall a last game i played that has a g = 9.8 m/s
    But you just shown KSP in that video and gravity on Kerbin is same to Earth's one, 9.8 m/s! It's KSP, gravity here is a huge part of a gameplay, you cannot say it's unrealistic or not precise.

  22. Ooooooooooh you could make great less gravity parks with this whole rotation gravity thing.

    watches the full video

    Oh dang.

  23. Dear Austin,
    HI! IT'S ME! A SUBSCRIBER TO THE GAME/FILM THEORIST AND GT LIVE! here to ruin and destroy the one thing you care about, SCIENCE! Because you destroyed the one thing I cared about, and that. Was. Gaming!

    There are a few things wrong with your science, 1: Halo is set almost 2 CENTURIES later, and with history (Yes SCIENCE is being debunked by history and game lore) humans have advanced so that something smaller than a smart phone has more power than a dang supercomputer! So artificial gravity is going to be a normality for us I'm over 2 centuries.

    Second, humans never stepped foot on the rings until the games, they were made by the forunners. A race of super advanced technologist that have the ability to make MASSIVE robots capable of making MORE ROBOTS out of NOTHING! And on top of that, create supersuits (not the chiefs suit, the forunner suits are in the extended lore) capable of slowing down time that don't even weight 20 pounds and still protect them from "space herpes" and plasma beams of over 9000 degrees Fahrenheit. And they also create robots capable of teleporting everything on them and think on their own using ONE HIVE MIND! This means the forunners could make it so the rings don't rotate and have their own gravity and atmosphere easily. I don't have a doubt in my mind they could replicate the earths gravity using their big brains and big wits. THEORY DEBUNKED!

    See? Anyone can be annoying and destroy EVERYTHING their viewers care about if they put their minds to it.

  24. i don’t even play any video games besides minecraft and fallout four and i still find these super entertaining because science and austin going insane

  25. So if u jumped the ring would spin so fast that i would be pummeled by a mountain? I dont want to be master chife anymore. And also i read your disclamer, its ok at least one person stopped to read it

  26. No need to be a party pooper but doesn’t something like the Halo rings mass have to be rotating at an alarming rate to produce enough centrifugal force to provide enough gravity to support all of the rings contents

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