Engineering versus science

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)

Notable Replies

  1. I'm not sure where "science vs engineering" comes in. Or "theory vs practice." In this case, they are the same.

  2. Isn't this the same science and engineering genius on display here?:

  3. My favorite example of Sci vs Eng is Wile E. Coyote: aced all his theory classes; failed every lab.

  4. It's like this trick, too.

    It's the same reason that high wire walkers use such long poles. Basically, The long poles allow them to cheat and make their center of mass more stable. Their poles are bent down, so their center of mass isn't on the wire, but below it.

    This pic shows different wire walkers arranged to have different centers of gravity. The one with the monkey is most unstable. The cyclist is best off.

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