My Favorite Science Puzzles
by John P. Pratt
last updated 24 Nov 2001
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None of the following puzzles have trick answers, or unwarranted assumptions, but they involve knowing some physics.
- A barge with one man and a load of iron scrap is on a barge floating in a lock in the
Panama Canal. If the man throws some iron off the barge into the water, what will
happen to the water level on the side of the lock?
- A van with all the windows closed contains some helium-filled balloons floating in it. When it starts accelerating what happens to the balloons?
- A van containing pigeons on perches is being weighed on a scale. Something scares the pigeons and they all begin flying around inside the van. Does the total weight of the van and pigeons change?