Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite
In The Fellowship of the Ring, the hobbit Peregrine Took (Pippin for short) drops a rock into a well while the travelers are in the caves of Moria. This wakes a balrog (a bad thing) and causes all kinds of trouble. Pippin heard the rock hit the water 7.5 s after he dropped it .
Note to the instructor: Note the difference between this problem and the traditional one. In the traditional problem, one might ask first: "How long does it take for the object to fall?" Next, we would ask: "How long does it take the sound to get back up?" Finally, we would ask: "How long after dropping the object did he hear the splash." The way it is phrased here is more realistic and introduces two important ideas: the idea of approximation as a good way to get a "first cut" answer, and the idea that how you do the calculation depends on how accurately you need to have the answer.
Not finding what you wanted? Check the Site Map for more information.
Page last modified October 8, 2002: K05