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How do I estimate how tall this building is?

  1. Jan 23, 2016 #1
    How do I estimate the height of the tall building spiderman swings to at 0:48? I need it for a physics assignment. What does you're intuition tell you? (I've never lived in a city full of buildings). Is there a way to estimate it using physics? I'm not sure that building actually exists.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    If you can count the floors then you can multiply it by 3.50 m to get a rough estimate. Otherwise you will have to look for something with known height, its distance to the building and then do some trigonometry.
  4. Jan 23, 2016 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Take a barometer to the top of the building, drop it off the side, and time how long the barometer takes to reach the ground. From that time, you can calculate the height of the building. :oldbiggrin:

    BTW, is this a homework question?
  5. Jan 24, 2016 #4


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Anyone want to buy a broken barometer? No pressure!
  6. Jan 24, 2016 #5
    you can use the shadow made by the building and measure the shadow's length
  7. Jan 24, 2016 #6


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    Gold Member

    yes, but it cannot be done just on it's own, as depending on the time of day ( sun position) the shadow can be longer or shorter that what the building is tall

    you forgot the important part ..
    That is, you also measure the shadow length of a known height object ... yourself, for example
    then the ratio of your shadow length to your height can then be applied to the building's shadow
    This needs to be done quickly as the sun is always moving and the shadow length always changing

  8. Jan 24, 2016 #7


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    Homework Helper

    The building looks to be about 10-12 floors. See post #2.
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