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Does anyone know how charlie (from numbers) was able to determine the

  1. Jan 1, 2007 #1
    Does anyone know how charlie (from numbers) was able to determine the starting point of something just by looking at locations it hit, the example he used was determining the point of a sprinkler by the water drops it produced.:rolleyes:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2007 #2
    Well, he probably used some of the reasoning for motion in two and three dimensions and made approximations with the help of other variables such as wind and so on.

    Think about it. What will go the longest distance - water traveling against the wind or with no wind at all (assuming a horizontal initial direction)? Does a Frisbee travel a longer distance if it is through against the wind (assuming a 45 degree initial direction) or with it?

    In a way, it is a fine line between physics and applied mathematics.
  4. Jan 2, 2007 #3


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    I've noticed that it helps to have the writers on your side!
  5. Jan 2, 2007 #4
    He applied this to finding a serial killer by analyzing the locations he hit and used that to locate where he probably lived or worked, can anyone explain how he did that???

    I would really like to apply this to a problem i am working on if anyone can help, my highschool math teachers arent much help so i thought i would try here.
  6. Jan 2, 2007 #5
    That particular episode used a lot of variables that may or may not be purely scientific - assumptions were made that serial snipers do not attack far from home, where he or she 'feels comfortable'. I just realized that I am now describing the episode where the initial sniper lead to other people attacking in similar ways. Anyway, the same basic 'principle' applied to that particular episode as well.

    Although that form of applied science can hardly be that accurate in terms of exact position of the killer. I'm not really sure, but wasn't there other variables Charlie took into account as well?
  7. Jan 2, 2007 #6
    I am not going to go out and solve murders or anything but how could i say dump out a cup of marbles and find the location of the cup just by looking at the marbles?
  8. Jan 2, 2007 #7
    A couple of different variables arises right away such as wind, the height from which they are dropped, how level the ground is, what type of ground it is, how much deviation from a complete horizontal drop you have, how many marbles you use, what material they are made off, if the cup is at rest or with what velocity when you drop the marbles and so on.

    Try to work out why these play a more or less significant role in this experiment. It is just as the intro to Nub3rs - look at one thing at a time, find what you need to find and see if the different things effect each other and not only the marbles eg. the height from which they are dropped is not only important because you can then estimate the kinetic energy they will have at first impact, but also how long the wind (if there are any) will have to affect them.
  9. Jan 2, 2007 #8
    Ok now how do i use this information to find the location of the cup, it is inside in a level table with a run on it there are 8 marbles dropped from 6 inches or placed randomly by hand.
  10. Jan 2, 2007 #9
    Ask yourself which (if any) of the variables I wrote in my earlier post vanishes if you have the setup like you have described.
  11. Jan 2, 2007 #10
    Some do but i dont understand how to use this info to find the location of the cup, that is what i need help with.
  12. Jan 2, 2007 #11
    Ok, how if I rephrase the question like this: "What will effect the marbles when dropped from a cup from a level table indoors(?)". It isn't hard to figure out.

    There isn't any wind indoors, nor can the marbles land one billion meters from the cup either. What can possibly effect the spread of the marbles? I won't do your project for you, so I can only give you clues to it. analyze the variables I posted in my 3rd post in this thread and see if and how much they apply :)
  13. Jan 2, 2007 #12
    Ok say i dont dump the marbles out but i place each of them individually in different spots on the table like the serial killer in numbers chose his targets.
    How can i find the pile that i originally took the marbles from assuming i took the marbles from a pile on the same table that i place the marbles on.
  14. Jan 2, 2007 #13
    BY the way this is not a school project, it is just something i am trying to do for fun so you dont have to worry about giving away to much.
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