Monday, July 13, 2015

Balancing nunchucks

Waiting in the car for a ferry the other day, I found I had two long nails and a little magnet for some reason, and came up with this balanced configuration:

1-DSC05744

At first I thought it was funny that there was less than 1 nail to the left of the balance point, and more than one to the right, but then I recalled this old lever formula:

Can we figure out how far down the nail the balancing point is?  Call it x, and let’s say each nail has a length of 1 and mass of 1…

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