Three simple rules for building a tower, if you are a fire ant

Ig Nobel Prize winner David Hu and colleagues explain the simple rules that fire ants use when they build a tower-of-fire-ants. They explain in a new study: “Fire Ants Perpetually Rebuild Sinking Towers,” Sulisay Phonekeo, Nathan Mlot, Daria Monaenkova, David L. Hu, Craig Tovey,” Royal Society Open Science, vol. 4, 2017, 170475. In the aftermath […]

A 1912 Olympic shooting mystery math/physics quiz

This week’s math/physics essay quiz is to explain the math and physics underlying these “INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE OFFICIALS AND COMPETITORS AT THE SHOOTING COMPETITIONS” from  THE OFFICIAL REPORT OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES OF STOCKHOLM 1912, ISSUED BY THE SWEDISH OLYMPIC COMMITTEE. Here is the relevant passage: In addition to the rules and regulations already issued, […]