Lead and Rubber Drop
Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.
You're standing on the edge of an ocean with a high powered rifle and a small rubber ball. The ocean is smooth and there is no wind. Holding the rifle level with the ground six feet high, you fire a bullet out to sea. The very instant the bullet leaves the barrel you drop the small rubber ball from the same height as the rifle. Which will hit the water first, the bullet or the ball?
The small rubber ball will hit first. The curvature of the earth will cause the bullet to travel farther down, even though they both drop at the same rate of speed.
Jul 23, 2004
Jul 26, 2004
|When I read the problem, I wondered whether your answer would take the Earth's curvature into account. Good puzzle! |
Jul 31, 2004
|Thankyou, this is my first teaser. |
Aug 01, 2004
|This would be a better trick question in my opinion. I said the bullet would hit the water first, because the ball would hit the ground where your standing. |
If I really have to factor the curve of the earth, (although the degree of difference in @2miles would be negligable) then I would also have to account for the 4"-10" rise in the bullet that is experienced due to the rifeling. Good one though, thanks.
Nov 12, 2004
|obviously the bullet. you didn't take into account the 15' wave, did you? |
Mar 21, 2005
|Good one. I took into account the 15' wave and still guessed the ball. That 15' wave was 30 miles out. |
Apr 21, 2005
|I don't understand the deal with the wave. hard tho!|
May 02, 2005
|lol about the wave. didn't take into account the curvature but depending on the size and composition of the ball, would it have been high enough for air friction to effect it?|
May 02, 2005
|ooh, and wind currents could make a differnce to. pretend there's a large updraft and it's a very light ball so the wind blows the ball up before it starts coming down. but ignore me, i'm just being obnoxious.|
May 06, 2005
|Uh huh, your right! It could have been a beach ball.|
May 28, 2005
|well, as someone mentioned, the curvature in such a distance would most likely be negligible, but there is another reason the ball would hit first - you measure height from the center of a uniform object. im assuming the ball is bigger than the bullet... well the outer edge of the ball will touch before the outer edge of the bullet does, but again, this is still splitting hairs, as is the curvature-related answer|
Nov 10, 2005
|i didnt get the curvature of the earth part. i just figured the ball only has to drop, and the bullet has to shoot forward and fall in a sort of arc, which makes its travel distance a lot farther. good one. |
Jan 19, 2006
|The curvature of the earth is not sufficient to say that the ball hits first. If you want to stray from the truth that they hit at the same time, you would also have had to tell us where the moon and sun were in relation to the earth, causing tides to shift, and taken into account the resistance of the air. Use the simplified model or the real one, but don't make half-assed assumptions like curvature of the earth.|
Feb 27, 2006
|I am more concerned for the poor unfortunate guy out there having a peaceful day of fishing,, then wiz! splat!|
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