Tags

,

Today I took a running start at the head of my driveway, locked my legs, and slid around 25 feet down the concrete and into the road. I’m 23 but I felt 7. It was awesome.

It reminded me of an old physics puzzler from my undergrad, which I pose to you now:

A particularly nasty engineering professor has placed you in the middle of a circular arena. You can easily exit at any side of the arena, but the catch is that you sit upon a floor with no friction. No amount of running or clawing will move you; the coefficients are just to low to save you.

The professor, sinister in his teaching methods, tells you that the only way to escape is to remember Newton’s laws of motion. With that, he leaves you to your own devices. All you have are the clothes on your back and the shoes on your feet. How do you escape?

If anyone comments with the correct answer, I’ll update this post. Otherwise, you have something to chew on (don’t google it!).



UPDATE: Craig Winslow in the comments below was the first to get the right answer! Now, can anyone tell me why?

About these ads