Is Kansas flatter than a pancake?

Scientists at Arizona State and Texas State have focused considerable research energy on one of the great questions of our time: Is Kansas really flatter than a pancake? Of course, they used the standard measure of flatness: The length of an ellipse’s semi-major axis A is compared with its measured semi-minor axis B using the formula for flattening, f = (a – b) / a.  Of course.

Using a standard IHOP pancake, the team calculated a flatness of .957, which is flat, but shy of perfect flatness (which would be a 1.0). Applying the same formula to the topography of Kansas, the scientists came up with .9997, which is much much flatter than a pancake. So it's not really right to drive through Kansas and say, "This place is as flat as a pancake." However, if you ever went to IHOP and got a particularly flat pancake, you would be OK in saying, "This pancake is a flat as Kansas."

Thank university scientists by Mark Fonstad, William Pugatch, and Brandon Vogt, for solving this vexing question.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.