Lesson Plan: Physics of the Jet Engine

Jet engines are commonly used to transport people and materials all over the world either by air- or water- craft in an efficient manner. They are also used for propelling land vehicles to pass the speed of sound. The purpose of this lesson is to provide a real-world example of utilizing the physics learned in class to understand the theory of operation of such an important device.

This lesson will provide an opportunity for students to conduct their own analysis of a jet engine, and then report their findings to their colleagues (the class). Students will apply their knowledge of Newton’s 2nd and 3rd laws to study how a jet engine imparts motion to an object and what key variables are needed to determine a jet engine’s performance.

Download a PDF of the lesson here.