# ProofWiki:Jokes/Physicist Mathematician and Engineer Jokes

## Physicist Mathematician and Engineer Jokes

### The Red Rubber Ball

#### Variant 1

A physicist, mathematician and engineer were asked to determine the volume of a red rubber ball.

The physicist filled a beaker with water, immersed the ball, caught the runoff and measured its volume.

The mathematician set up and solved an appropriate triple integral, then measured the diameter of the ball and plugged in the number.

The engineer looked around on his bookshelf, then asked,

*"Has anyone got a red rubber ball volume table? I've only got the ones for blue and purple."*

#### Variant 2

A physicist, mathematician and engineer were asked to determine the volume of a red rubber ball.

The mathematician set up and solved an appropriate triple integral, then measured the diameter of the ball and plugged in the number.

The physicist filled a beaker with water, immersed the ball, caught the runoff and measured its volume.

The engineer looked over at the physicist's messy desk and by now heavily waterlogged notebook, and said:

*"You do of course realise that you made the unwarranted assumption that the ball is incompressible, don't you?"*

### The Burning Hotel

The engineer is awakened by a smell and gets up to check it. He finds a fire in the hallway, sees a nearby fire extinguisher and after extinguishing it, goes back to bed.

Later that night, the physicist gets up, again because of the smell of fire. He quickly gets up and sees the fire in the hallway. After calculating air pressure, flame temperature and humidity as well as distance to the fire and projected trajectory, he extinguishes the fire with the least amount of fluid.

#### Variant 1

Finally, the mathematician awakes, only again to find a fire in the hallway. He instantly sees the extinguisher and thinks, "A solution exists!", and heads back into his room.

#### Variant 2

The punchline has been left as an exercise for the reader.

#### Variant 3

The mathematician awakens, and finds another fire in the hallway. He looks out the door, then goes back to bed. The house ends up burning down, but the physicist and engineer manages to save the mathematician. When asked why he didn't put out the fire, he says: "I saw the fire, I saw the extinguisher, the solution was trivial."

#### Variant 4

Then the mathematician awakens, and finds that the embers of the fire are still burning. After giving much thought to the problem, he gets up and lights it up to an actual fire. Then he goes back to sleep, satisfied that the problem has been reduced to a previously solved one.

#### Variant 5

Then the mathematician awakens, and finds another fire in the hallway. He quickly tears pages out of his notebook, lighting them on fire one by one. He then runs down the hall sliding sheets of burning paper under the other guests' doors.

After the building burns to the ground the fire marshal asks the mathematicians how the fire spread so fast.

He responds: "I thought distributing the problem would lead to finding a solution faster."

### N-Dimensional Space

A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer attend a lecture on Minkowski space.

Getting frustrated, the engineer asks, "How do you visualize 4-dimensional space?"

"Easy," replies the physicist. "Just imagine that each point of $\R$, representing a point in time, is associated with its own 3d space."

"There's an easier way," says the mathematician. "Just imagine N-dimensional space and set $N=4$."

### Trivial Joke

An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician find themselves in a joke.

After consulting his slide ruler and TI-84 calculator, the engineer realizes the situation and starts laughing.

The physicist then understands too and chuckles to himself happily, as he now has enough experimental evidence to publish a paper.

The mathematician is perplexed, as he had observed right away that he was the subject of a joke, and deduced the presence of humor from similar jokes, but considered this joke to be too trivial a corollary to be significant, let alone funny.

### Experimental Equations

After running many empirical tests, a physicist works out a set of equations explaining the data.

He asks a mathematician to check them.

A week later, the mathematician calls and says, "I've checked, and your equations are nonsense."

"But these equations accurately explain the data from my experiments. Are you sure that they are complete nonsense?"

"Well they aren't complete nonsense, but the only case in which they have solutions is the trivial one where the field is Archimedean."