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The force on a horse December 7, 2018

Posted by mareserinitatis in physics, teaching.
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Yesterday, while teaching class, I had an uncontrollable laughing fit that lasted a good five minutes and involved me crying.

We were studying a problem involving a horse on a raft, and so I kept saying “the force on the horse,” which lead to the Mr. Ed song running through my head…kind of.

What was actually running through my head was the following:

The force on a horse, of course, of course,

is the gravity force, of course,

unless the force on the horse is buoyancy instead.

So every time I started talking about the problem, I would say, “the force on the horse,” which would start a mental chorus of the above song or I would stop laughing and see the students laughing (probably because they were wondering what was wrong with me).

Finally, I stopped laughing because I started saying “the force on the animal.”  It wasn’t quite as catchy.

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Comments»

1. The Minion - December 7, 2018

But what if the horse was a perfect sphere?

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mareserinitatis - December 8, 2018

That’s how we model it when we’re drawing free body diagrams. 🙂

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