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Bronze Ball Contest

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#26788
Fun:*** (2.91)
Difficulty:* (1.08)
Submitted By:mufffin09Aus*******
Corrected By:chiliwormeater4




In Mrs. Farstaff's Science class, they are holding a contest. She has a glass bottle, and a little bronze ball, the size of which is the exact same as the hole in the bottle. Mrs. Farstaff is giving the student who can put the ball in the bottle, without breaking the glass or destroying the ball somehow, an iPOD.

In her room there is a microwave, petroleum jelly, a stove, and a freezer.

Six of her seven students attempted this feat, but with no luck.

After the sixth student, the seventh, Geoff, comes up to the bottle and the ball. He thinks of using one of the tools in Mrs. Farstaff's room at his disposal, and uses one (not the jelly as it was already proven to not work) and five hours later, gets the ball in the bottle and his free iPOD.

How did he do it?

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Nov 08, 2005

I'm first, wow and I was stumped. I expected a vaccum to pull the ball into the bottle. Great teaser - fun and educational.
Nov 08, 2005

That was a very hard teaser it was still good and it was fun trying to find out what happened an i learned something new!
Great One!!
Nov 08, 2005

This was a good one, I thought on the same lines of the answer, but alas I was wrong next time
Nov 08, 2005

With straight A's in science, it was easy for me. But very well written. Keep them coming.
Nov 09, 2005

good teaser. I guess they are always easy when you already know the scientific principle behind the teaeser. Thanks! Keep em coming.
Nov 09, 2005

ps. (yes, I got it right away too )
Nov 09, 2005

that was good
Nov 09, 2005

hey good one! i got it pretty fast, but i've read similar things in 5-minute whodunits. wouldn't have got it otherwise.
Nov 09, 2005

Once i read the whole teaser, i knew he put it in the freezer, easy teaser, but keep em coming
Nov 16, 2005

I knew he either used the microwave or the stove, but I was thinking more for the glass bottle.
Nov 17, 2005

good job! I was also thinking about the ball rather than the bottle, but along the same lines as the correct answer. awesome work.
Dec 11, 2005

Easy, but fun.
Jan 02, 2006

Wow, I actually got one without making my brain hurt.
Jan 12, 2006

True, but very easy. At least it was based on scientific facts. Alternatively, were the oven hot enough, he could have melted the glass and reformed the bottle around the ball, but that wouldn't have taken 5 hours.
May 20, 2006

I remember this from 3rd grade =D. Also, you could melt the bottle...thats not breaking it.
Oct 13, 2007

Oct 13, 2007

I figured this one out on my own. Makes perfect sense.
Oct 13, 2007

It was easy for some who realize that cold reduces and heat expands, but neverthe less a good teaser!!!
Oct 13, 2007

Oct 13, 2007

Good quiz!! Makes you think.
Oct 13, 2007

I got putting the ball in the freezer. To help it along I thought
I would microwave the bottle because I think glass will enlarge
with heat? Let me know if I'm wrong.

Good Teaser
Oct 13, 2007

I thought this one was a little too easy. Might give the kids some trouble, but us old folks know stuff like this.
Oct 13, 2007

I got it right. The five hours kind of helped me out a bit. Thanks for the great teaser.

Oct 13, 2007

haha..that was interesting
Oct 13, 2007

Good one, give us another
Oct 13, 2007

For 2ndhandrose: It's true that the glass will expand, but then that would make the inside diameter of the bottleneck smaller. Freeze both the ball and the bottle maybe?
Oct 13, 2007

I actually got this one
only because we just did an experiment on this in science
Oct 13, 2007

SweetPotato: If you froze the bottle too it would contract and we'd be back to square one.
Oct 13, 2007

You microwave the bottle.


Fun, even though I stink at this kinda thing.
(user deleted)
Oct 13, 2007

This was cool and keeps you thinking. I couldn't figure it out, so I asked my mom. She got it.
Oct 13, 2007

GOT IT! Yay! I guessed part of it about the freezer. I knew it'd ontract and forgot how to get hte ball back to a smaller size. So i got HALF OF IT. =)Good teaser.
Oct 14, 2007

Break the bottle I say!!
Oct 15, 2007

I think the answer should be expanded so it explains why the other answers are wrong. Also, I think you either shouldn't mention the petroleum jelly in the question or at least cut out where you say it didn't work - you can explain why it wouldn't work in the answer.
Despite these suggestions I quite enjoyed that teaser - thanks.
Mar 12, 2008

If the ball is the exact size of the opening, can't Geoff just put the ball right in?
Nov 23, 2008

there r other answer for this question like the seventh student and use the stove/mircowave to heat up the glass bottle, causing it to expand so he can put the ball in to the bottle or combine my idea to urs that will be come: the seven student put the ball into the freezer and use the stove/microwave to heat up the bottle so the ball will become small becuse of the cool and the bottle will expand because of the heat, then the student can put the ball into the bottle.
Oct 18, 2010

Many who believes that heating the bottle may help are wrong because bottle being a cylindrical in shape when heated the expansion actually reduces the inner diameter of the bottle!!
Oct 18, 2010

I knew it was the freezer, but not the why or which item. So, I consider myself half right.

Keep them coming.
Oct 18, 2010

good teaser and good project for the grandchildren. (if they are patient and can wait the 5 hours!)

Oct 18, 2010

SweetPotato and omas, when a torus (or almost anything with a hole in the middle, really) expands, the hole in the middle expands, too. Think of heating a jar so the lid will come off more easily. Therefore, heating the bottle should work...

But all that is irrelevant, because my teacher would never give out a free iPod as a prize.
Oct 18, 2010

Would this really work? How much would brass ball contract? Not enough to be measurable would be my guess. But if you heated it you would definitely notice it.
Oct 18, 2010

i remember i learned tht heat expands things so i thought tht maybe the freezer may shrink it, im super happy now
Oct 18, 2010

good quiz I got the answer but I am mad skilled at critical thinking
Oct 18, 2013

I remeber reading this one before so it was easy for me. It is an old one that has been on here before. Must be a lot of new people now.
Oct 18, 2013

While this teaser was interesting anyone with a basic understanding of science should have been able to figure it out within a minute or two.
Oct 18, 2013

It took me about 3 seconds to figure it out.
Oct 18, 2013

The teaser did not state if the ball was solid or hollow.

If the ball is hollow you can use the freezer, the stove, or the microwave to smash the ball into a deformed shape and get the "ball" into the bottle.

If the ball is solid you could still attempt to deform the ball.
Oct 18, 2013

Expanding the bottle with the stove or microwave would INCREASE the size of the opening. When a body expands due to heat, it retains the same dimensions: so, the exterior bounds and the interior bounds would both increase. This is an alternate answer.'s worded somewhat oddly... as the ball and the hole are the same size, the ball could technically fit through. The ball is a presence and the hole is an absence; if they are of equal size and shape, they will fit together perfectly. Irregularities at the molecular level would create friction, but it should fit through with a little effort.

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