Thinking outside the box: the barometer question

BarometerThis is a short story on thinking outside the box. In a physics exam at the University of Copenhagen, the students were asked how to measure the height of a skyscraper using a barometer. One of the students suggested that you go up on the rooftop, tie a string to the barometer and lower it down to the ground and then measure the length of the string. The professor gave the student zero points on the question with reference to the fact that with his answer he did not demonstrate any knowledge of physics.The student complained with the motivation that the answer was obviously correct and, after some arguments, he was given the opportunity to provide an alternative solution to the problem.

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