How well do you understand physics?

1. Imagine that you built a very long frictionless table in a vacuum. If you place a hockey puck on it and push it toward the far end what would happen?


2. Imagine a sumo wrestler is standing on a table. The table miraculously holds. Now the all-important question is not why a sumo wrestler is standing on a table, sumo wrestler realize that it is unwise for such a large man to stand on a table, but instead: is there a force acting on the sumo wrestler?


3. Assume that a little girl and the sumo wrestler from the last question are having a tug of war. Obviously the little girl does not stand a chance, but the sumo wrestler humors her (because he’s not a jerk to small children). She pulls with all her might, digging in her heels, and the sumo wrestler slowly slides into a mud pit, and the little girl is victorious. Now, which one of them was pulling with a greater force?


4. Assume that you are standing at the top of a very tall building in a vacuum. For some reason, you decide that it’s a good idea to drop a bowling ball and a golf ball off the side of the building just to see what happens (and if your ex happens to be walking by at the time, then that would be a serendipitous coincidence). The question is will the bowling ball or the golf ball reach the ground first?


5. Imagine that you are a wealthy eccentric. You have just purchased a new piece of modern art that you are quite proud of. This particular piece happens to be a 10-foot lead cube which weighs roughly 350 tons. The problem is that the delivery man left it right outside your front door and you want it moved inside next to your piano and right in front of that picture of your mother in-law. So being a rich eccentric, you decide you’re going to launch your house and your new piece of art into orbit where you can then push it in place yourself exactly where you want it. Ignoring the practical difficulties of launching your house and a 350 ton lead brick into space, the question remains, would you be able to move your newly acquired piece of modern art?


6. Imagine that you are the same wealthy eccentric from the previous question. In your ignorance of basic physics you have decided to continue with your mad, and ultimately futile, scheme and have some how managed to launch your entire house and your 350 Ton lead brick into orbit around the earth. The question now that you are in orbit is what is the acceleration due to gravity acting on you, your house and the lead brick.


7. Is there gravity on the moon?


8. Imagine you’re in the midst of a deadly car chase. You’re driving down the interstate at unreasonably high speeds, the spooky government official who is trying to silence the truth is driving not ten feet behind you in a nondescript black SUV, his associate is hanging out the window trying to shoot you down. All and all, it has been a very exciting day. You quickly decide to take the next exit in an attempt to lose your pursuers. Unfortunately, it’s one of those exits that loops sharply to the right. You’re going so fast that as your car turns to the right your slammed against the left wall of your cab. Suddenly time slows down as a bullets flies past your head. You’re afraid that your car is going to careen off the side of the road but your tires hold fast. Then you find yourself idly wondering “If I’m turning right which direction is the force acting on me?”


9. Still in the car chase for your life, you pull safely out of the exit ramp with the government thugs hot on your tail. You suddenly have a brilliant idea. You pull out the device you invented. It generates a field that can either increase or decrease the amount of friction on your car tires. Now the question is should you increase or decrease the friction in order to go faster?


10. Still booking down the road and around precarious turns, you notice a speed limit sign that says “25mph.” Looking down at your speedometer you notice that you’re going 80 mph. This is when you suddenly wonder to yourself “how fast are the bottom of my tiers moving?”


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