Great. Now Can You Tell Me How Copperfield's Going To Impregnate A Woman Without Touching Her?


My kitchen table wobbles even when sitting on a perfectly flat surface. My kitchen floor, as you might expect of anything assembled by Lowest Bidder Builders, is not perfectly flat; however, I can always rotate the table such that it sits in a stable manner. I'd just kind of assumed that you could always do that for any reasonable values of 'table wobbliness' and 'floor flatness', but this guy had to go out and prove it:

Do you always get the wobbly table at restaurants and cafés? Don't despair. A physicist has proved that, within reasonable limits, it is always possible to rotate the table to a position where all four legs stand solidly on the ground.

André Martin was moved to study the problem because he was fed up with the wobbly tables at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, where he works on abstruse problems in high-energy physics.

Anyone who drinks a cup of coffee on the terrace of the CERN cafeteria, says Martin, discovers that the tables usually have only three feet resting on the ground, so that the slightest touch spills your drink.

Time after time, Martin would find himself rotating the table to look for a stable position. "I've always been able to find one," he says. "People are sometimes amazed that it works."

More than ten years ago, Martin decided to see if he could find some proof that a stable state always exists. He believed that he'd found one, and even presented it at a summer school in 1998, but he never wrote it up and discovered that in any case it wasn't completely correct.

Now Martin believes he has a more watertight case, and this time he has gone public1. "I had the feeling that mathematicians were interested," he explains.
[H/T Boing Boing]


it's a tantric thing!

Maybe, but I always considered the touching as the fun part and the impregnating as a possible side effect!

Oh, wait, were you talking about the table?

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This page contains a single entry by Chris published on October 27, 2005 4:52 PM.

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