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J. Perelman
"Entertaining physics". Book 1.
Chapter 5. Properties of liquids and gases


To be light, not only as a piece of fluff, but also to become lighter than air [Fluff, contrary to popular belief, is not only lighter than air, but hundreds of times heavier than him. Float it in the air just because it has a very large surface, so that the air resistance to its motion is large compared to its weight]so, getting rid of pesky shackles of gravity, free to climb high above the ground, anywhere - that's the dream from childhood seems most attractive. This usually forget about one thing - that people can freely move on the Earth just because they are heavier than air. In essence, “we live at the bottom of the ocean of air,” as proclaimed Torricelli, and if for some reason we suddenly looked a thousand times easier - would become lighter than air, something inevitably would have to emerge to the surface of the ocean air. With us would happen the same that happened to the Pushkin hussar: “the Whole bottle drank; believe not believe - but up suddenly I jumped down”. We would rise up in whole miles, until he reached the area where the density of the rarefied air of equal density of our body. Dreams about free of vitani over the mountains and valleys would be scattered ashes, because, freed from the shackles of gravity, we become the prisoners of other power - atmospheric currents.

Writer wells chose such an unusual position plot for one of his science-fiction stories. Too full of people wanted whatever it was to get rid of his fulness, And the narrator seems just had a miraculous recipe that had the ability to deliver fat people from their excessive weight. Fat man begged him for the recipe, took the medicine, and that's the kind of unexpected surprises was struck by the narrator, when he came to visit his acquaintance, he knocked at his door:

“The door didn't open. I heard he turned the key, and then the voice of Pycraft (the so-called fat man) said:

- Log.

I turned the handle and opened the door. Naturally, I was expecting to see Pycraft.

And you know, - it was not! The office was in disarray: plates and dishes were between books and writing utensils, a few chairs were overturned, but Pycraft was not...

"I am here, old sport! Close the door, " he said. And then I found it. He was at the ledge in the corner by the door, just someone stuck it to the ceiling. His face was angry and expressed his fear.

- If that ever served you, Pycraft, fall and break his neck, " I said.

I was glad of this, " he said.

The man of your years and your weight to indulge in such gymnastics... But how you get there, damn it, hold on to? I asked.

And suddenly I saw that he was not kept, and floats there, as pressurized gas bubble.

He made the effort to break away from the ceiling and sliding along the wall to me. He grabbed a box of prints, she leaned, and he again flew to the ceiling. He knocked on the ceiling, and then I guessed why outstanding parts and angles of his body stained with chalk. He again, with great care, tried to go through the fireplace.

- This medication is puffed he was too really. Weight loss is almost absolute.

I understood everything.

- Pycraft! I said. Because you had treatment for completeness, and you always called it weight... Oh wait, I'll help you, " I said, taking the unfortunate hands and pulled him down.

He danced around the room, trying to stand and stand somewhere. Funny sight! It was very similar, as if on a windy day I tried to keep the sail.

- Table this, " said the unfortunate Pycraft, isremovable from dance, is a very durable and heavy. If you managed to shove me under him...

I had done it. But tucked under a Desk, he wandered about as tied balloon, never being alone.

- Only one thing is clear, " I said, " exactly what you should not do. If you decide to get, for example, from home, you will rise higher and higher...

I filed the idea that you should adapt to his new position. I hinted that it will be easy to learn to walk on the ceiling in her arms.

- I can't sleep, " he complained.

I pointed out to him that it is possible to attach to bed mesh soft mattress, to add to all the lower items techmeme and zip up on the side of the blanket and sheet.

He was raised in the room to the stairs, and all the food was put on the library Cabinet. We also attacked a witty invention, which Pycraft could come down on the floor, when wanted: she just lay in the fact that the “ENCYCLOPAEDIA Britannica” was placed on the top shelf open Cabinet. The fat man immediately pulled out a couple of volumes and, holding them in his hand, descended to the floor.

I stayed in his apartment for two days. With thumb and hammer in hand, I have built here with all kinds of smart devices for him: had the wire, so he could get calls, etc.

I was sitting near the fireplace, and he hung in his favorite corner, cornice, or Turkish carpet to the ceiling, when I thought:

- Uh, Pycraft! "I cried. All this is totally unnecessary! Lead lining under your clothes, and it's done!

Pycraft nearly cried from joy.

- Buy. - I said, " sheet lead and tab it under her dress. Wear boots with lead soles, holding a suitcase made of solid lead, and finished it! You will not be already a prisoner here, you can go abroad, can travel. You never have to fear shipwreck: just to throw off some part of the service or all of it, and you will always be able to fly through the air”.

"I am here, old sport! said Pycraft.

All this seems at first sight quite consonant with the laws of physics. It is impossible, however, to leave without objection other details of the story. The most serious objection is that losing weight is your body, the fat man still has not risen to the ceiling!

In fact, according to the law of Archimedes Pycraft would “float” to the ceiling in that case, if the weight of the dress, with all the contents of his pockets, was less than the weight of air displaced his fat body. What is the weight of the air in the volume of the human body, it is easy to calculate, if we recall that the weight of our body is almost equal to the weight of the same volume of water. We weigh 60 kilograms, water in equal volume is about the same, and the normal air density in 770 times lighter than water; therefore, the same volume of our body, the air weighs 80, no matter How heavy was Mr. Pycraft, he hardly weighed more than 100 kg and, therefore, could not displace more than 130, Do the same suit, shoes, wallet, and everything else that was on Pycraft, weighed no more than 130 g? Of course, more. If so, then the fat man had to remain on the floor of the room, though in a rather unstable position, but do not ascend to the ceiling “as an anchored balloon”. Only stripped naked, Pycraft would really float to the ceiling. In the same clothes he would like being tied to the Orb-the jumper; a small force of muscles, easy leap carried him high above the ground, where he in calm weather gradually fell back.

Entertaining physics J. Perelman


System Orphus


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