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 Balloon in a car (Posted on 2004-12-16)
You work for a balloon delivery service and you are delivering a single, helium-filled balloon in your car. To prevent the balloon from bouncing around on the ceiling while you are driving you have tied a string with a weight on it to the balloon. The weight is resting on the floor and the balloon is floating just below the ceiling.

When you accelerate, does the balloon stay where it is, move backward, or move forward? What does it do when you make a turn?

Assume all the windows are closed and the vents are turned off so there is no air flow inside the car to affect the balloon.

 See The Solution Submitted by Sing4TheDay Rating: 3.6667 (3 votes)

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 re(2): Solution (spoilers) | Comment 3 of 19 |
(In reply to re: Solution (spoilers) by nikki)

The overall approximate density of a human is equal to that of water, so you wouldn't notice any effect. However, I suppose some form of super-dense water would have the same effect.

I suspect free-body diagrams coupled with force and inertia calculations are enough to determine the outcome of any such scenario.

 Posted by Eric on 2004-12-16 15:20:51

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