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**bob bundy****Administrator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 8,371

hi

If I had two sets of scales and placed one on top of the other, then placed a one kilo bag of sugar on the top scale, what would each of the scales read? If you cannot imagine a kilo bag of sugar, a 2.2lb bag will do just as well.

If anyone with a degree or other high-flier qualification in maths or physics answers, please include this in the reply, I as have to convince a few people of the correct answer.

Many thanks, Peterkn0

Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei

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**bob bundy****Administrator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 8,371

hi Peterkn0

I'm assuming these scales are bathroom type scales graduated in Kg.

Strictly such scales measure force not mass so the scale should really be in Newtons. But unless you're in space or on the Moon you won't notice the difference so the Kg scale (because it will be proportional to the Newton scale) will do for our purposes.

Oh yes, I've got an 'A' in A level applied maths and also in physics and a degree in maths. Do you think that will impress your friends enough?

Each scale will show what it is supporting. So the top scale will show 1 Kg and the lower scale will show (1 + w) Kg where w is the weight in Kg of the top scale.

Hope that helps.

Bob

Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei

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**peterkn0****Member**- Registered: 2012-06-03
- Posts: 4

Thank you very much for that Bob, highly illuminating!

In our discussion we had support for every possible outcome, 1kg on the top scale and zero on the bottom, zero on the top scale and 1kg on the bottom, and 0.5kg on both scales.

As you point out, this is a measure of Force and not Mass, so that makes all the difference.

Your credentials are impeccable! Thanks again.

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**bob bundy****Administrator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 8,371

You're welcome.

If some of your friends remain to be convinced, suggest the doubters take part in the following practical experiment.

The most doubtful one lies on the ground. The next most doubtful lies on top of this, (nothing naughty; this is a pure science experiment). Then the next doubter climbs on the pile. Then the next, and so on until all the doubters have formed a tower of bodies.

Now ask the one on the bottom if that feels like zero weight.

Bob

Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei

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**anonimnystefy****Real Member**- From: Harlan's World
- Registered: 2011-05-23
- Posts: 16,037

He might be very surprised, that bottom guy.

Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.

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**peterkn0****Member**- Registered: 2012-06-03
- Posts: 4

"High o'er the fence leaps Sunny Jim, Force is the food that raises him". My old Physics teacher used to put up an old breakfast cereal packet with that slogan, and a cartoon drawing of a young lad leaping over a fence. 1902!

I'm glad it still works.

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**bob bundy****Administrator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 8,371

hi

Wiki says it's still sold. And Nestle still list it. But I cannot find anywhere that actually sells it.

Perhaps just as well as the units for force are not directly applicable to foodstuffs.

Sunny Jim looks to be a spritely fellow of senior years.

Bob

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei

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