Welcome to the brick balancing challenge!
I'm back at the construction site, where I did
the brick domino effect in the road over there
and it dawned on me afterwards, now that i've befriended
some construction workers
in fact bonded over unusual ways to lay bricks
I should come back and - you know I've got - I've now got access
to all this construction material, so I explained the
brick balancing challenge to them and
they said I can - I can have a go with their bricks. Right, so:
This is the brick balancing challenge. If you put a brick on an edge
the center of mass of the brick is roughly in the middle
which means you should be able to bring the brick
all the way out to -
Okay, there, that's it right there
OK, so that is right on its center of mass. It's right on the edge there.
Just for safety reasons I'm gonna bring it back a tad.
So there we are.
You can get 50 percent of the brick
sticking out over the edge.
Can we do better?
So, brick number two. So if I back
up the brick, brick number two can
balance on brick number one and it can come out
to 50 percent. Oop, there it is, that's it balancing right on the edge there.
Now you can see already that brick number two
is further out than 50%, because there is 50% to there
and we've already got this bit of an overhang.
So let's actually see how far can we bring that overhang
That's probably it
There -- oops -- there.
OK, so - so now
the joint two brick combo is
just balancing on the original edge, and
the second brick is just balancing on the edge
of the first brick. And so look at that, you can see,
we got a decent amount of brick hanging over the edge...
so the challenge is:
Can you continue this pattern until you have a brick with over a 100% overhang?
So is there a brick which is completely off
from the original edge?
I'm gonna try this, there will be some kind of video montage
You can use that time to decide in your own mind,
do you think it is possible for me to do this?
I mean, not possible in terms of my physical constraints
possible mathematically speaking, but okay let's have a go
Alright! There's three
Okay, is that overhanging? What do you - ugh!
uhh. Just to be certain
let's do six.
Okay, I've gone straight for seven,
I'm hoping i can do it in six.
The edge on the concrete blocks, isn't very even
so I'm gonna kinda use this bottom brick
as my official edge
and then I'll see if I can get the six above it
to overhang, okay here we go, first one.
This is to... it feels almost weightless like wobbly bricks
I think this one can come a tad more.
That's so close to falling
Is that good enough? Are we gonna accept that?
I could convince myself, that is already fully overhung but
why waste a perfectly good
degree of brick freedom, here we go.
Okay! There is it.
I am convinced I've done it.
That this top one is definitely completely off the edge
of this bottom surface there .
So, just by sliding them out, I've managed to get a completely suspended brick.
Look at it! It's hovering in mid-air
well... it's on the other bricks, but you get the idea
and i feel like I've not been optimal, like that gap there is a bit small
but the surface of the bricks is far from ideal
and they don't sit very flush sometimes.
It's crazy looking at it actually, cause you can see all the gaps where each one is just
ready to fall off the one below it.
Your challenge now is, well it's not to make one of these
if you are gonna do it, please be extremely careful and to be honest you can make this
with objects with far less mass than actual building bricks.
The real challenge though is in theory - what is the limit?
What is the theoretical maximum distance this could come out?
If I kept going and these were perfect ideal bricks,
could I get a bricks gap
between the top one and the original edge,
like could I have a brick and then this one out over here?
Could i get three bricks out?
Is there an upper bound on how far this can go?
If you know the answer by the way, no spoilers!
So if you want to put something in the comments
which is a bit of a spoiler,
I don't mind if you do calculations or results for
you would need this many bricks
in theory to get to two, should it be possible,
or three or so on. I don't want anyone ruining
what the actual upper bound is.
I want people to be able to try and work that out, it's kind of fun
and see if you can discover it for yourself.
If you really want to, I'm sure you can look on Google
and find the actual solution to this.
So there you are, that is the brick balancing challenge.
Do try and work it out in theory
I am now gonna try, cause I left this brick flush with the bottom,
I'm gonna see if i can drag it out a little bit
because, I mean ... why, you know
I'm nothing, if not a completist, so I'll see if I can get ...
I need to hold these steady. Drag that out.
Uh! That's too much!
The bricks slide over themselves a lot easier than the concrete block.
Okay, that's out a bit.
We align that.
It barely moved!
I think that looks good.
Yes ... Oh no!
[Bricks crash on the floor]
It's okay, I'll pay for those.