Three Students
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An Engineering Student, a Physics Student, and a Mathematics
student were each given $150 dollars and were told to use that money
to find out exactly how tall a particular hotel was.
All three ran off, extremely keen on how to do this. The physics
student went out, purchased some stopwatches, a number of ball
bearings, a calculator, and some friends. He had them all time the
drop of ball bearings from the roof, and he then figured out the
height from the time it took for the bearings to accelerate from rest
until they impacted with the sidewalk.
The math student waited until the sun was going down, then she took
out her protractor, plumb line, measuring tape,and scratch pad,
measured the length of the shadow, found the angle the buildings roof
made from the ground, and used trignometry to figure out the height of
the building.
Of course, with all that was involved in getting this experiment
done, they were up plenty late studing for other courses' exams.
These two students bumped into the engineering student the next
day, who looked quite refreshed. When asked what he did to find the
height of the building he replied:
"Well, I walked up to the bell hop, gave him 10 bucks, asked him
how tall the hotel was, and went inside for happy hour!"