Friday, 4 January 2013

Science tools that are not available to laypeople

It's easy to ask questions that household science can't answer. For example: how tall can a tower of LEGO be before it collapses under its own weight? Well, it's easy to see that we need to know the weight that will crush a LEGO brick, the weight of each brick and the height of a brick. Given that, the maths is easy, and we can measure the height and weight of a single brick relatively easily, even if we have to combine several of them and divide to get an accurate measurement. What is much harder to do, with tools from around the house, is to measure the weight that will crush a single LEGO brick. For that, you need some kind of force scale that can crush the brick and tell you how much force was used. Not so easy, and a critical missing piece. Quite often, it is not possible for people to do their own science, and that is a problem.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Inspired by this BBC News article about the tallest possible LEGO tower.
PPS - I'm not sure what could be done about it.

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