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# Re: [Phys-L] Inference Lab Design

• From: John Denker <jsd@av8n.com>
• Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 22:12:07 -0700

On 08/13/2012 08:22 PM, Turner, Jacob wrote:
Yes, inference covers both deductive and inductive reasoning.

:-)

My primary aim was to ensure that they get a feel for how to "measure
the unmeasurable"

I agree with the sentiment, but it might be clearer to speak of measuring
things that can't be /directly/ measured.

A lot of things in this world are indirect. Being able to see the
indirect solution is a big part of growing up, for people and even
for animals.

baby
............ (fence)
food

The baby creature will proceed directly toward the food and get hung
up on the fence. The grown-up creature will say "nuts with this" and
waltz around the end of the fence.

I have been trying to gauge to what degree I am willing to break away from measurement.

Emphasizing measurement seems smart IMHO.

So, how about the Twelve Coins puzzle? It's all about measurement ...
and the optimal solution involves measurements that allow /indirect/
inference of the desired information. There's a lot you can do with
this example. Not all of it needs to be done on Day One; you can
keep spiraling back to it.
http://www.av8n.com/physics/twelve-coins.htm
If this is not suitable, please explain why not.

If you want to do this as a real experiment, not just a Gedankenexperiment,
it takes less than 10 minutes to make an equal-arm balance out of a
wooden yardstick.

I tried googling for directions on how to do this, without much success.
A gross caricature is here
http://collections.infocollections.org/ukedu/en/d/Jr0035e/20.html
Maybe I should write up directions for a nicer version. Hmmmm.