Have you ever seen a falling smokestack? First, several bricks a broken off from one side at its bottom. Then, the resulting cavity is filled with explosive that is subsequently set off. After that the smokestack tilts a little bit and finally it falls down. If it is short and thick, it falls like a tree -- see fig a). But if it is long and thin, it breaks during its fall. The question is: Which figure, b) or c) shows correctly how the smokestack breaks as it falls?
The applet above uses Open Source Physics library developed by Dr. Wolfgang Christian et. al. at Davidson College. It's source code is published here under the GNU GPL licence without any guarantee. For the details, please see the text of the licence.
Written by Slavomir Tuleja, August 2003.