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Puzzle solution

Updated on June 12, 2012

The Puzzling World

The most difficult puzzles in life have very simple solutions. As promised earlier, there is another puzzle waiting here for you to solve. This does not require anything special from you. This puzzle is a very simple application of a popular concept of science. When I got to know of this puzzle, the thought that came to my mind is that, if my school teachers would have shown this puzzle to me and explained the concept which lies behind it (I don’t want to reveal it here, as the puzzle will get super simple for you to solve) I would have learnt it in a snap. Without wasting much time I will give you the problem. Please note that the puzzle and its solution is available in the video. So, if you get hold of this piece of puzzle and want to try it out yourself first, then don’t look at the video now.

This is the end result desired

The Puzzle

As shown in the picture, you have a boat like structure here. It has two silver balls inside it. The entire structure is well sealed. There is no way that the balls can come out of the structure. There are two grooves on either side of the boat. The balls fit in the groove perfectly well. Your task is to get both the balls in the groove simultaneously. Look at the picture on the right for the desired result.

This is a wrong solution

How do you solve it?

The solution is extremely simple. Place the two balls such that they are at the opposite sides of the thin plastic barrier at the center of the boat. After that, all you have to do is to give the boat a good spin as shown in the video. Once that happens, centrifugal force starts acting on the system and both the balls get thrown towards the edges. As you have well fitting grooves at the edges, the structure fits perfectly well. The key concept of physics which I talked about earlier, is the centrifugal force.

This is the starting position

Puzzle solution

Other applications of centrifugal force

It is the outward force exerted on an object when the object is in rotation. The applications of centrifugal force are many. Most notable among these are separation of heterogeneous substances in centrifuges, amusement park rides, centrifugal governor, go-kart and helicopters use centrifugal clutch.


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      Abhijit Aswath 5 years ago from India

      Thank you Giselle and Shubhangi. This is one of my favorite puzzles. It somehow reminds me of the fact that life is so simple, sometimes we just complicate it a bit too much for comfort.

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      Shubhangi Joshi 5 years ago

      This is a really mind-boggling puzzle! Thank you for your analysis!

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      Giselle Maine 5 years ago

      Interesting analysis of this puzzle.