To Run Or Not To Run, That is The Question.

“To run or not to run” that is the question. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have a little rain from time to time to time, but not so often or so rarely that it becomes an issue, rather more it’s something to accommodate to. Hence, most of us carry umbrellas, sometimes large, but usually small so that you don’t notice that we are prepared.

Of course not all inhabitants of the planet are so fortunate as us temperate rain forest dwellers and have to make decisions when the clouds darken. Bocci is the latest physicist to worry seriously about the consequences of being stuck in the street umbrella- less when a drop makes its presence felt (1).

 “To run or not to run” that is the question. But what is the answer? Well a dyed-in-the-wool physicist is not going to treat this lightly, but is going to study velocities, areas and such like as a body moves forward through the hydrogical flux (rain to normal mortals).

 Of course physicists like to simplify to mark the route clearly and the tendency is to choose a sphere, however this was not the case in this example. The person was simplified as a two-dimensional planar square person, or a cylinder,  whose velocity was changed, as was that of the weather.

Before you dismiss this idealized person, stay and bow down, they are of course your politicians – 2-dimensional, moving at a constant velocity regardless of reality, etc. etc. – doesn't that describe them? They also modeled some people as cylinders who I guess represent the independents in the audience who spin about their axes.

To the general conclusions. Well the bad news. It depends on how hard it’s raining, how much wind and how fast you can move.

Great, stick with us Northwesterners – take your umbrella and leave the applied math for your next family party.


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