Barometer | 100 Word Story

States the Professor, “Using a barometer, determine the height of the Physics building.”

Answers Student One, “Determine the atmospheric pressure at the top and base of the building. From the density of air and the pressure difference, calculate the height.” 

Answers Student Two, “Throw the barometer off the roof and time how long it takes to fall. From the acceleration of gravity and simple calculus, calculate the height.” 

Finally Student Three answers, “Find the superintendent of the Physics building. Tell him that you will give him this really nice barometer if he tells you the exact height of the building.” 

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Observation: The hardest part was keeping track of the word count and juggling to get exactly 100 words.

This is a famous story with several variations. I first heard it many many years ago. See:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barometer_question

http://www.snopes.com/college/exam/barometer.asp

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