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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    12 Nov '08 21:32
    I remember reading about this problem in noted theoretical physicist Richard Feynman's book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!", but I don't think he included the answer! Instead of going to the library to check, I thought I'd ask everyone here.

    Consider a hollow tube with two smooth right-angled bends in it, shaped roughly like a squared off "S" like this:
    _
    _|

    This tube is connected to a hose which attaches right in the middle of the tube, and the tube if free to rotate about its centre. The tube is submerged in a tank of water, and the hose is turned on. The water shooting out of both ends of the tube will push back on the tube making it rotate opposite to the direction of the water (i.e. if you are looking down at the tube and water is shooting out to the top-right and bottom-left, the tube will rotate counterclockwise).

    The question Mr. Feynman tried to answer (with spectacularly funny results, but no answer) was: what happens if you run it in reverse, and start sucking water into the tube instead?
  2. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    13 Nov '08 05:03
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I remember reading about this problem in noted theoretical physicist Richard Feynman's book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!", but I don't think he included the answer! Instead of going to the library to check, I thought I'd ask everyone here.

    Consider a hollow tube with two smooth right-angled bends in it, shaped roughly like a squared off "S" like t ...[text shortened]... s: what happens if you run it in reverse, and start sucking water into the tube instead?
    You empty the tank?
  3. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Proud Boys Beware
    13 Nov '08 05:12
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I remember reading about this problem in noted theoretical physicist Richard Feynman's book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!", but I don't think he included the answer! Instead of going to the library to check, I thought I'd ask everyone here.

    Consider a hollow tube with two smooth right-angled bends in it, shaped roughly like a squared off "S" like t ...[text shortened]... s: what happens if you run it in reverse, and start sucking water into the tube instead?
    It should spin the other way I would think. Why not?
  4. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    13 Nov '08 18:22
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It should spin the other way I would think. Why not?
    Apparently, all three possible answers (same direction, opposite direction, doesn't move) have all been discussed and "demonstrated" to some degree.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feynman_sprinkler