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# Measuring a Building's Height With a Barometer

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7/10/2013 07:00 PM EDT

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Re: Put the barometer away...
7/12/2013 10:20:24 AM
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@jhm001: ...then go down to the local building department and pull the blueprints for the building.

But that doesn't involve using the barometer, which is a key requirement for the exercise.

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Re: The laser or flashlight solution
7/12/2013 10:22:35 AM
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@Ron: Point the laser at the top of the building and measure the angle that the laser/flashlamp is tilted....

There are many ways to calculate the height of a building ... the point of this exercise is to use th ebarometer in one way or another.

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Re: 142 ways
7/12/2013 10:25:13 AM
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@n1ist: Climb the stairs and mark off the height in barometer-length units.

That would work -- this reminds me of the Smoot as a non-standard unit of length.

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Re: Another Way!
7/12/2013 10:28:13 AM
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@Docdivakar: I would like to add another...

All Good suggestions. Another one I read was to set stand at the bottom of the building holding the barometer -- remotely detonate an explosion at the top of the buliding -- and measure the amount of time it takes the pressuse wave to register on the barometer :-)

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Correct use?
7/12/2013 12:28:56 PM
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Has anyone mentioned the correct use?  Measure air pressure at bas of building, then air pressure at the top.  Find the difference and use that to compute the altitude...  Of course, you might need to take a trip to the beach to find the presseure at sea level, too...

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Re: Put the barometer away...
7/12/2013 12:53:00 PM
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It does involve the barometer, at least insofar as safely storing it and protecting the environment from a nasty mercury spill.

Obviously your sarcasm detector was miscalibrated, as I was commenting on the disastrous toxic exposure risks involved in some of the suggestions (dropping it off the building, launching it over the building, etc.)

Consider it recalibrated (your sarcasm detector, not the barometer).

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Re: Correct use?
7/12/2013 1:16:28 PM
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@Tom-ii: Has anyone mentioned the correct use?

Don't be silly!

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Re: Put the barometer away...
7/12/2013 1:18:20 PM
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@jmumford913: Obviously your sarcasm detector was miscalibrated...

It's not been working correctly for some time now -- I think it needs some lubrication in the form of alcohol :-)

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The reverse of that
7/12/2013 6:36:06 PM
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Max, re: "Drop the barometer off the top of the building, measure how long it takes to hit the ground, and use this value to calculate the height of the building."

Many long years ago, I had a summer job working in the glorious Pacific Northwest forests. Part of the job involved climbing fir trees to pick the cones, which would be used in research plantings.

One day a buddy and myself were each in old growth Douglas fir trees, up in excess of 200 feet. To keep ourselves amused while picking, we yelled back and forth between trees to collaboratively use our calculus knowledge to figure out how fast we'd be going when we hit the ground from that height.

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Re: Put the barometer away...
7/12/2013 6:40:30 PM
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Max re: "But that doesn't involve using the barometer, which is a key requirement for the exercise."

Convince the records office clerk that the barometer is actually a very valuable antique watch. Then bribe him or her with the watch to go right away and get the blueprints without delay, so you'll have enough time to stop at a barometer store and buy a new one on the way back to the building site.

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