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OT: Science of dropping things

Started by bitrex April 9, 2016
I'm fairly clumsy, and I drop things on the floor a lot.

What often happens is that I hear something small clatter to the floor, 
like a screw, or key, or cell phone charger. I then think "Ah, this 
should be easy to find."

Then I end up hunting around on my hands and knees with a flashlight for 
that screw I heard fall to the floor...and I never find it. You'd think 
if you heard it hit the ground, it would be easy to find...but dropped 
things apparently just vanish into another dimension.

Is there any science about why things you drop on the floor always end 
up in the last place you'd look?
On Sat, 9 Apr 2016 02:49:03 -0400, bitrex <bitrex@de.lete.earthlink.net>
Gave us:

>Then I end up hunting around on my hands and knees with a flashlight for >that screw I heard fall to the floor...and I never find it. You'd think >if you heard it hit the ground, it would be easy to find...but dropped >things apparently just vanish into another dimension.
Ah... the twilight zone episode. That must have been what happened to Donald Trump's brain. And his followers are even worse.
On Sat, 9 Apr 2016 02:49:03 -0400, bitrex <bitrex@de.lete.earthlink.net>
Gave us:

>Is there any science about why things you drop on the floor always end >up in the last place you'd look?
Yes. If you kept looking for them after you found them, you would be recommended for the loony bin.
On 9/04/2016 2:49 PM, bitrex wrote:
> I'm fairly clumsy, and I drop things on the floor a lot. > > What often happens is that I hear something small clatter to the floor, > like a screw, or key, or cell phone charger. I then think "Ah, this > should be easy to find." > > Then I end up hunting around on my hands and knees with a flashlight for > that screw I heard fall to the floor...and I never find it. You'd think > if you heard it hit the ground, it would be easy to find...but dropped > things apparently just vanish into another dimension. > > Is there any science about why things you drop on the floor always end > up in the last place you'd look?
I am in the same school as yourself, with the advent of SMD I don't look anymore......just reach for the part bin.
On Sat, 09 Apr 2016 02:49:03 -0400, bitrex wrote:

> I'm fairly clumsy, and I drop things on the floor a lot. > > What often happens is that I hear something small clatter to the floor, > like a screw, or key, or cell phone charger. I then think "Ah, this > should be easy to find." > > Then I end up hunting around on my hands and knees with a flashlight for > that screw I heard fall to the floor...and I never find it. You'd think > if you heard it hit the ground, it would be easy to find...but dropped > things apparently just vanish into another dimension. > > Is there any science about why things you drop on the floor always end > up in the last place you'd look?
Maybe go through the Ignobel prizes? I know they gave a prize to some researchers that studied why and how socks fall of peoples feet, maybe there was a prize for studying things falling to the floor and disappearing into the other corner of the room.
On Sat, 09 Apr 2016 02:49:03 -0400, bitrex wrote:

> I'm fairly clumsy, and I drop things on the floor a lot. > > What often happens is that I hear something small clatter to the floor, > like a screw, or key, or cell phone charger. I then think "Ah, this > should be easy to find." > > Then I end up hunting around on my hands and knees with a flashlight for > that screw I heard fall to the floor...and I never find it. You'd think > if you heard it hit the ground, it would be easy to find...but dropped > things apparently just vanish into another dimension.
It's called an "apport" and is more common than you might think. Certainly around my workshop it is, anyway.
On Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 2:49:10 AM UTC-4, bitrex wrote:
> I'm fairly clumsy, and I drop things on the floor a lot. > > What often happens is that I hear something small clatter to the floor, > like a screw, or key, or cell phone charger. I then think "Ah, this > should be easy to find." > > Then I end up hunting around on my hands and knees with a flashlight for > that screw I heard fall to the floor...and I never find it. You'd think > if you heard it hit the ground, it would be easy to find...but dropped > things apparently just vanish into another dimension. > > Is there any science about why things you drop on the floor always end > up in the last place you'd look?
I think it's covered under some corollary to to Murphy's Law. (And ~1/2 the time you find it right away and forget.) George H.
"bitrex" <bitrex@de.lete.earthlink.net> wrote in message 
news:AB1Oy.11667$S57.4599@fx08.iad...
> I'm fairly clumsy, and I drop things on the floor a lot. > > What often happens is that I hear something small clatter to the floor, > like a screw, or key, or cell phone charger. I then think "Ah, this should > be easy to find." > > Then I end up hunting around on my hands and knees with a flashlight for > that screw I heard fall to the floor...and I never find it. You'd think if > you heard it hit the ground, it would be easy to find...but dropped things > apparently just vanish into another dimension. > > Is there any science about why things you drop on the floor always end up > in the last place you'd look?
Sure. 1. You hear the first hit, but less likely the subsequent bounce and scattering. 2. If you don't follow it quickly by eye, you won't see which way it's bounced. Eye-ear coordination and ambiguity of hearing (your ears are considerably less spacially accurate than you give them credit for). 3. On the bounce, vertical kinetic energy is converted to a random amount of horizontal. Irregular shapes bounce in random directions. Thinking that "it sounded like it bounced over there" is somewhat irrelevant. It also continues rolling or sliding, depending on the surface. 4. You're older, I think? So probably your eyesight alone isn't too great, and even if you can get a clear scan of the floor, spotting small objects is probably difficult (especially if you have no idea where they are, let alone a faulty idea of where they are!). Idunno... seems likely to me. We generally put way too much confidence in the performance of our senses. This subject alone doesn't seem like something worthy of a paper ... but then, I'm no academic. They are the pros are stretching things out to whole papers. A small-scale controlled study, perhaps? Tim -- Seven Transistor Labs, LLC Electrical Engineering Consultation and Contract Design Website: http://seventransistorlabs.com
On 4/9/2016 2:49 AM, bitrex wrote:
> I'm fairly clumsy, and I drop things on the floor a lot. > > What often happens is that I hear something small clatter to the floor, > like a screw, or key, or cell phone charger. I then think "Ah, this > should be easy to find." > > Then I end up hunting around on my hands and knees with a flashlight for > that screw I heard fall to the floor...and I never find it. You'd think > if you heard it hit the ground, it would be easy to find...but dropped > things apparently just vanish into another dimension. > > Is there any science about why things you drop on the floor always end > up in the last place you'd look?
If you get a broom and a dustpan, and sweep up around the bench, 99 times out of 100, you'll find the part. -- Grizzly H.
On Sat, 9 Apr 2016 02:49:03 -0400, bitrex
<bitrex@de.lete.earthlink.net> wrote:

>I'm fairly clumsy, and I drop things on the floor a lot. > >What often happens is that I hear something small clatter to the floor, >like a screw, or key, or cell phone charger. I then think "Ah, this >should be easy to find." > >Then I end up hunting around on my hands and knees with a flashlight for >that screw I heard fall to the floor...and I never find it. You'd think >if you heard it hit the ground, it would be easy to find...but dropped >things apparently just vanish into another dimension. > >Is there any science about why things you drop on the floor always end >up in the last place you'd look?
I have a magnet on an extendable wand for "sweeping" the floor. I'm forever dropping the tiniest of screws :-( ...Jim Thompson -- | James E.Thompson | mens | | Analog Innovations | et | | Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus | | San Tan Valley, AZ 85142 Skype: Contacts Only | | | Voice:(480)460-2350 Fax: Available upon request | Brass Rat | | E-mail Icon at http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 | The touchstone of liberalism is intolerance