A man on the 14th floor of a building sees a bucket (dropped by a window washer) pass his window and notes that it hits the ground 1.6 s later. Assuming a floor is 13 ft high (and neglecting air friction), from which floor was the bucket dropped?

Guest Jul 22, 2017

3+0 Answers


The unknown starting height of the bucket’s fall is (h). The bucket falls (16t^2) feet in (t) seconds.  The man observes the bucket passing floor 14 at unknown time (t), and it continues to fall for (13ft*14) = 182ft in 1.6s


\(\begin{array}{|lll|} \hline &(h-16t^2) - (h-16(t+1.6)^2) &=& 182ft&\\ &-16t^2+16 (t+1.6)^2&=&182\\ &51.2t+40.96&=&182\\ &51.2t&=&141.04\\ &t&=&2.7546875\\ \text { }\\ &16(2.7546875)^2 &=& 121.4 \text{ft above observation floor. }\\ &\dfrac{121.4}{13}& =& 9.3 \text{ Floors above observation floor. }\\ &14+9 &=& 23 \text { The bucket fell from the }23^{rd} \text {floor }\\ \hline \end{array} \)



Lancelot Link says the best place to watch an opera is from the rafters or a chandelier, but you need a good pair of opera glasses to read their lips. It helps to know Italian, too.laugh

GingerAle  Jul 23, 2017
edited by Melody  Jul 23, 2017


/ˈnɒn ˈsɛkwɪtə/


a statement having little or no relevance to what preceded it.

Guest Jul 23, 2017

Well, Mr. BB I am impressed that you know a Latin phrase.  Are you fluent in pîg Latin?  I bet you are!  I know a Latin phrase that instantly brings you to anyone’s mind.  Persona non grata


Like usual, and seemingly always, Mr. BB, you are wrong. Lancelot Link’s metaphorical comment definitely relates by a logical sequence to the kinematic equation it follows. I can explain this, but (again) we are back to wasting time and annoying the pîg. 


In this in this instance, I will try, because I love Lancelot, and truly appreciate his humor and wisdom, and the unique way he blends them to convey knowledge and information.  I don’t expect you to understand this or acknowledge it if you do. But I’m sure there a few on here who will understand and appreciate Lancelot’s teaching methods.


 Lancelot attached this comment to the end of a systematic series of related equations expressed in the form of hypotheticals to demonstrate macro logic from micro observations.  The hypothetical depicted above is not likely to be a casual observational experience in the real world. For this experiment to have any accuracy, one needs careful observation and high-precision timing devices.  In a related hypothetical, the observer notes the travel time from the top to the bottom of a window and derives the starting height of the object. Again, no one in the real world can casually measure this objects travel time in tenths of seconds.  


Lancelot’s opera metaphor extends to general observations. When one has a macro view, a tool is needed for the micro view. Here, this tool is opera glasses.   To understand the (Italian) opera one needs to understand the Italian language.   This is also true for physics. One needs to understand the language of physics: how gravity, velocity, distance, and time relate to each other.


Plus, the thought of a chimp watching an opera, while hanging from a rafter or sitting in a chandelier, is just plain funny to most humans and we genetically enhanced chimps.   



One final note:  The phrases Non sequitur and Non- sequitur are different.  When used as a noun, it should not have a hyphen. Using a hyphen makes it a phrasal adjective. This is a major change in the meaning.  If you wish to point out potential esoteric communication errors, you really should have higher standards.   

GingerAle  Jul 24, 2017

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