Infinite imbalance puzzles!

I had forgotten about this treasure trove of excellent physics problems until I read Paul Salomon’s compelling post on his “imbalance problems”. As I thought about coming up with my own imbalance problems, I remembered this puzzler involving an infinite Atwood’s machine.

Infinite Atwood's machine

I am going to bed tonight thinking about how I could use an infinite Atwood’s machine approach to create an interesting imbalance puzzle. This is what I have so far:

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 11.58.21 PM

Order the shapes by mass.

It occurred to me that all of these resources are great for my students as they seek inspiration for their own posts during our two-week blog project.

Problem 41 seems particularly tractable to a multivariable calculus analysis:

physics problem of the week 41


I am a math and science teacher at a boarding school in Delaware.

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Posted in Multivariable Calculus

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