An Actual Physicist Has Weighed In On How That Cop Obtained Warp Speed On The Boston Slide

boston cop slide


Between the Eurodance guy and the cop slide, it’s been an incredible week for viral videos.

The Cop Slide video, as it’s been deemed by the internet, has gone so viral because it tickles a part of the funny bone that all humans have, and that’s enjoying physical comedy.

Physical comedy is perhaps the purest form of comedy. Think about it: it’s the one that babies understand first and it remains funny throughout the entirety of our lives.

The Cop Slide video, however, has become such a cultural phenomenon that not only are regular people heading to the slide to try and figure out how that unnamed cop obtained such a high velocity but actual physicists are being called in to give their expertise.

“Normal people, when they go down a slide, they’re fine,” said Rhett Allain, an associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University.I would guess it has to be something about the clothes he’s wearing.” [via HuffPost]

All other things being equal, a child and an adult ought to go down a slide at the same speed. Yes, the earth’s gravitational pull increases with an object’s mass — but objects with more mass also accelerate more slowly, and the two factors perfectly cancel each other out, Allain said. It’s the reason why, if you drop a golf ball and a bowling ball from the same height, they’ll hit the ground at the same time.

Allain then pointed to the cop’s attire as the likely reason he shout out of the metal tube like a missile from a rocket launcher.

“Friction depends on the two surfaces interacting, so if you have a metal slide and it’s in contact with skin or cotton clothes you have a certain coefficient of friction,” Allain said. “And if you change the material, maybe to something stiff, it could make it a lot slipperier.”

And there you have it: it’s his clothes. In the video, Cop Slide Man is seen neon vest over his standard cop uniform that has “a slight sheen on the pants” which “suggests the fabric is synthetic or tightly woven and slippery,” said a report from HuffPost.

After the video went viral, the Boston Police Department confirmed that while the officer in the video did get injured, he got treatment using his own insurance. The officer also has not been suspended and is not under investigation by the department.

Eric Italiano Avatar
Eric Italiano is a NYC-based writer who spearheads BroBible's Pop Culture and Entertainment content. He covers topics such as Movies, TV, and Video Games, while interviewing actors, directors, and writers.