Physics 1090 Homework #1
Due Thursday, September 3
Reading assignment
: Chapters 1, 2, 3 of
the notes
.
1.
Here’s an exercise problem for Babylonian students, from the Yale Babylonian collection (YBC
4186)
(Quoted from
History of Mathematics
, J. Fauvel and J. Gray, p 27):
A cistern is 10 GAR square, 10 GAR deep (a GAR is a nindan, equal to 12 cubits: this is an immense
cistern!) A standard Babylonian garden plot is one square nindan.
How many garden plots can be
irrigated to a depth of one finger from the full cistern?
The answer given is written 1, <<<<
meaning
1,40 (but what number is that?!
Don’t forget 1 and 60 , etc., are the same!)
2.
Find
the height of this lamppost in front of
Newcomb Hall by measuring the length of its
shadow, and the length of your shadow at the
same time of day, and your height. (You can
measure in paces.)
3.
Find the spot (it’s at ground level, as you can see!) where this photo was taken from.
Notice
that the head of the statue is very close
to in line with the top of Cabell Hall.
Pace off the distance from the place the
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 Fall '08
 Fowler
 Work, Stone Wall, Yale Babylonian Collection, Cabell Hall, little arch

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