Poochy wrote:I was once asked the standard-issue physics question about estimating the height of a building using a barometer. Except this particular test asked for all the possible ways we could think of, with no penalty for incorrect answers. I can't remember all of the methods I put, but amongst my answers:
1. Measure the barometric pressure at the top and bottom of the building and calculate the difference in altitude.
2. Drop the barometer from the roof of the building, and measure how long it takes to hit the ground. Calculate the distance the barometer fell based on that measurement (d=(1/2)*a*t2+v0*t, a=9.8m/s2 v0=0)
3. Drop the barometer from the roof of the building, and measure the difference in time between when you see the barometer hit the ground and when you hear the resulting thud. Use this to calculate the distance the sound traveled.
4. Drop the barometer from the roof of the building. Repeat until it hits a random passerby on the ground. Look in the news for a story that says "a man was badly injured today after being hit in the head by a barometer thrown off the roof of a X-foot-tall building." X will be the height.
5. Wait for a natural disaster to wreck the building. Take the barometer and smash the rubble until there are no large pieces left. The height of the building is approximately 0.
6. Measure the shadow of the barometer. Measure the shadow of the building. Since you know the height of the barometer, use trig to find the height of the building.
7. Go to the building super. Offer him a barometer in exchange for the height of the building.
8. Go to the top of the building. Measure the period of the earth's rotation. Go to the bottom of the building. Measure it again. Use conservation of angular momentum to determine the height of the building.