This video documents an unplanned experiment in engineering and human nature. Workers at a construction site contemplate how to arrest a machine that will not stop spinning. Then more workers join in the contemplation…
(Thanks to investigator Ralph Enders for bringing this to our attention.)
BONUS: Researchers at the University of Minnesota physics department write, about the general case:
Students in introductory physics courses typically begin to solve a problem by plunging into the algebraic and numerical solution - they search for and manipulate equations, plugging numbers into the equations until they find a combination that yields an answer (e.g. the plug-and-chug strategy). They seldom use their conceptual knowledge of physics to qualitatively analyze the problem situation, nor do they systematically plan a solution before they begin numerical and algebraic manipulations of equations.
This post originally appeared on Improbable Research.