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Grade: Senior
Subject: Mathematics

#2726. Three Stooges Trig Problem

Mathematics, level: Senior
Posted Fri Nov 1 05:18:35 PST 2002 by Randall Hudson (
Rogers, Rogers, USA
Activity Time: 15 minutes
Concepts Taught: Circular Period

This is an application problem for trigonometry and/or physics. It works well as an extra credit assignment.

You have foolishly hired the three stooges to help you in your war antiquities shop. You go into the circular storage room with radius of 10 meters to see if they have moved the small 1 meter loaded cannon (located exactly at the center of the room) filled with grapeshot like you asked them too. When you open the door and go into the room you are due North from the center of the room. The cannon is pointing directly at you. You immediately shout, "No, Curly, don't put out your cigar on the fuse casing!" but it is too late! Thinking fast Moe and Larry start pushing on one end of the cannon but Curly has become confused and starts pushing on the other end of the cannon against the other two stooges. The cannon is turning clockwise at a rate of 2 m/s(with the fuse casing part of the cannon being stationary and the barrel part moving). You know that it has an 8 second fuse and that there was about a 1 and 3/4 second delay before the stooges started turning the cannon. You have inadvertently closed the door behind you and don't have time to open it (your hands are trembling). Should you stand where you are or move to one side?

Answer: You should move.