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


Puzzle ID:#36995
Fun:*** (2.34)
Difficulty:** (1.71)
Submitted By:LegalMumboJumbo*nl****!
Corrected By:AndrewWalker




LegalMumboJumbo was entered into a game show. If he answered one question correctly he would win one million dollars. If he missed the question, a buzzer would sound and Legal would have to donate $50,000 dollars to a local charity. The question was "What does three fluid ounces of water plus three fluid ounces of alcohol equal?" and Legal immediately said "Six fluid ounces!"

Did LegalMumboJumbo win one million dollars?


No, he did not. This may seem odd, but when different liquids are mixed, the combined liquid becomes more dense. So, the liquid becomes more compact and takes up less volume in the container. It is a small but measurable difference.

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Jun 19, 2007

hey nice teaser, but not sure if trick is the right category. congrats on your first teaser =D
Jun 19, 2007

Seems to me to be in the correct category! Though I have to say that for a million, I'd given a little thought to what looks to be a very simple gimme.
Jun 19, 2007

Jun 19, 2007

Wow!!!! Legalmumbojumbo needs to catch up on his science!!!!
Jun 19, 2007

um...correct? lol
Jun 19, 2007

just kidding
Jun 19, 2007

the only thing I knew was that it wasnt 6
Jun 19, 2007

Jun 19, 2007

yes congrats on first teaser it was pretty good and i think we can all learn al little something from this
Jun 19, 2007

Thanks, I like learning something new.
Jun 19, 2007

Are you talking about liquid ounces which are volume, or regular ounces which are weight?
Jun 20, 2007

I was going to say " a pretty stiff drink"
Jun 20, 2007

i didn't like it, sorry
Jun 20, 2007

just teasing, get it<
Jun 21, 2007

nice one! i learnt something of science, atleast! Thanks.
Jun 21, 2007

schould be in science or trivia category, could someone change it please?
Jun 22, 2007

Not really rep as it's a trick, cause 3+3 = 6
Jun 22, 2007

Interesting. Probably should have specified fluid ounces though. The volume may decrease when the liquids are mixed but the mass will not.
Jun 22, 2007

I have to add, I feel bad for LegalMumboJumbo as well, since to scientifically determine what you are asking to some degree of precision is probably quite involved, requiring such additional information as temperature of the liquids and atmospheric pressure.
Jun 27, 2007

How did this make it into Science? The key thing is that there is no definition between a fluid ounce (volume) and a "convenitional" ounce which is a weight.
Just because you put some science in there, it doesn't make it a science teaser.
Jun 28, 2007

It was originally under Trick, but someone changed it to science
Jul 02, 2007

I found it in trick...but then ... things xcan get tricky , that's why they're called puzzles K?
Jul 03, 2007

wow. very very very cool

i knew it wasnt 6, but i had no idea what it rele was.

i thought it was cause alcohol was lighter or something...i dunno...i have to catch up on my science too, i guess!
(user deleted)
Jul 05, 2007

I got the answer right, but for a different reason. Alcohol will evaporate water. Although I don't know the rate of evaporation nor how much time was allotted, after the alcohol was added, I know that alcohol Will evaporate water. The number of ounces would definitely be less than 6, although I don't know how MUCH less.
Jul 16, 2007

Well I thought ounces were used to measure mass, not volume, so I got it wrong. I've never really begun to understand imperial measurement systems.
Jul 16, 2007

Good Teaser. The science of this teaser is correct. The confusion comes only with the definition of ounce. We British and you Americans love using imperial measurements, but this can often lead to confusion. This is especially the case with the ounce as there are so many ounces and each can be of a different unit or have a different value. For example there is the ounce-force which is a unit of force, the UK fluid ounce and the US fluid ounce (1 US fluid ounce = 1.040842 UK fluid ounces = 29.57353 millilitres) both units of volume. Then when it comes to mass there is the troy ounce, the avoirdupois ounce, the roman ounce and even a metric ounce (which is used informally by the dutch).
So although I liked the teaser may, maybe in future, if anyone posts a teaser in the science section, however much we love our imperial measurements for everyday life, if we need to be clear what we are talking about I suggest that proper SI units should be used to avoid confusion. i.e. grams for mass, mol for amount of substance, and cubic metres for volume (or the derived unit 'litre' which is a special name for a cubic decimetre or 0.001 cubic metres).
Jul 16, 2007

I agree with RedPython. When I read the question, my first thought was "are we talking weight or volume?"
Was that ounce meant as 1/16 of a pound or as 1/16 or a pint? (In the US)
If the question had been given in metric measurements as either milliliters or grams, then there would be no ambiguity.
Aug 04, 2007

That's a really really really easy teaser, if you ask me. it's a good one... *looks over shoulder* omg my bro is watching the Hallmark channel... gtg
Aug 04, 2007

*phew* just needed to add, i like this teaser and especially it's simplicity
Aug 06, 2007

Just want to add my voice to the numerous people pointing out the imprecision of the question. I assumed it would have said fluid ounces if it meant volume, and so read it as weight, whereby 6 would be the correct answer. If this happened to me on a game show, I would sue until I got my million dollars.
Aug 11, 2007

Ha, I knew that from watching PBS. Thank you, Bill Nye the Science Guy!
Sep 08, 2007

This teaser is good, but it has a mistake An ounce is a unit of mass, which is distinct from the fluid ounce, which is a unit of volume. I think that fluid ounce is the unit to which you are referring.
Oct 14, 2007

I really agree with redpython. I usually use the british system for physical quantities. So to avoid confusion between different countries, its best to use the SI units!
Oct 30, 2007

so, you said when you add too liguids, its more dense taking up less vloume... but doesnt adding water and oil (which is a liquid) take up less volume also?

very cute though, i knew it wasnt 6 but not sure why
Dec 29, 2007

nah! too tough!!
Jan 15, 2008

Fun and interesting! But a bit too easy.
Jan 26, 2008

lots of fun and you should say koke for more effectiveness
Sep 26, 2008

Asside from the ambiguity(trick)..Interesting two different liquids = a denser liquid, yet alcohal does become solid so easily in lower temperature - confusied lil ol me - am off to research.

In the mean time I'm stumped!
Mar 01, 2009

I'm not buying it. "Fluid ounces" is a measure of volume, and when you are talking about water, you often shorten it to ounces because it is the same amount. (That is, one fluid ounce of water weighs one ounce.) But if you just say ounces, you are really talking about a measure of weight, and the weight will be 6 ounces, as expected.
Jun 12, 2012

Why is his name Legal MumboJumbo?

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