Everyday Problems for Physicists


You go for a romantic meal with your beau/belle and get given a 500ml glass of water.  You whip out your infra-red thermometer and measure it to be at 20⁰C.  You would prefer it to be at 5⁰C as it is a very, very, very hot day, so want to ask the waiter for some ice.

You’re not known as one to make a fuss so you don’t want to waste the waiter’s time getting extra ice.  Calculate the exact mass of ice required to cool your water to 5⁰C




I accidentally set my time machine car for prehistoric times and my ‘Mr Fusion Home Energy Reactor’ has been eaten by a velociraptor.  I’ve worked out that if I hit my car with a 1 tonne boulder moving at the correct velocity, the elastic collision will propel my 850kg car at the 88 miles per hour required to start the flux capacitor.  I plan on accelerating the boulder to the correct velocity by rolling it down an appropriately sized hill.

How high should the hill be?




My Year 10’s test results were so bad that I intend to kill myself and plan on doing so by jumping off a tall building.

I have worked out that the only way to guarantee a quick death is by hitting the ground at over 16 m/s.

If each level of the new Science block is 4m high, which floor do I need to jump from?





#28960000 (Part Deux)

After my Year 10’s embarrassing test results I jump to my certain death off the 4th floor of the science block. Unfortunately someone has left their bouncy castle directly under my fall and I rebound back up, twice, before finally coming to a rest on the, now deflated, bouncy castle.

Sketch a distance-time graph for this.

Now sketch a velocity-time graph.


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