It's not just a clever way to while away the time between ordering and eating -- this fork/penny/glass sculpture is also a clever way to understand the difference between theory and practice.
Because of the weight of the ends of the forks, and how they’re distributed behind the penny (closer to the glass), the center of gravity of the whole system is actually shifted quite significantly. If I’m right, it would actually have to be right where the penny meets the glass. This mean, in a sense, all the “weight” of the system of the forks and penny is resting right on that point, rather than out in the air, so if you balance it, it’ll be stable on the glass.
Science vs Engineering
(via Mary Robinette Kowal)
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