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03/22/2010

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Alan

I've really been tempted to go back and place a sign beneath it that reads "Resistance is Futile."

Steve

that would be AWESOME!
you should do it!

Ronn! Blankenship

Is that where I think it is (ESC)?

chris

As an electrical engineer this sign makes even less sense. Ohms can't kill you, it does nothing to you. I handle 10000 Ohm resisters all day long. I believe they meant Volts (with a lot of charge behind it) which would be extremely dangerous to touch.

Wernicke

Agreed. As a physicist, Ohm is a pretty retarded unit of danger.

What you should be afraid of is current. Volts to a lesser extent. (10,000V mostly being dangerous as it can ionize air and jump reasonably sized gaps to conduct through your body.)

Ronn! Blankenship

Chris:

If it is indeed where I think it is, it is on the bowl-like guard which surrounds the lower end of a Foucault pendulum which has a large metal ball as its bob. On at least one occasion when the pendulum was not operating a kid got into the bowl and was swinging the pendulum by hand. (On another occasion pipes in the building attic had frozen and burst sometime during the winter and so when the water was turned back on in the spring a flood spread across the attic floor and then created a two-story waterfall from the lobby ceiling that filled up the bowl while the pendulum was swinging). The guy in charge of maintaining the pendulum was thinking about putting such a sign up to serve as a humorous warning to parents to keep their kids out of the bowl and away from the swinging ball, but hadn't while I was there . . .

Julia

OMG all your comments are making me giddy with science joy.

Ronn! Blankenship

I was waiting for Alan to respond, but since he hasn't yet, here are several other views of the pendulum pit (pun of course intended):

BYU Eyring Science Center-Pendulum Image Gallery - http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/default.aspx?f=1&guid=951ae8b1-6328-43b3-9ccd-d74721d7be3b&gid=2

as well as an account of the [in]effectiveness of the warning sign that started this all off:

http://www.theboard.byu.edu/index.php?area=viewall&id=5894

Daniel Rutter

I'm reminded of the London Science Museum and its "Do Not Touch" exhibit:

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/objects/interactives/energy/Do_not_touch.aspx

http://www.flickr.com/photos/foolsparadise/3963206757/

The device is not always clearly visible, on account of the frequent crowds of people attempting to touch it :-).

Olivia

Wait - to all of you seriously complaining about how this sign makes little sense... you realize it's suppose to be a nerdy joke, right?

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