# What is unconventional about MIT?

<p>I've always heard that MIT students are unconventional... in what ways is this best reflected?</p>

<p>how can one even begin to explain :D</p>

<p>Why can't it be M*i*T, that would be even more unconventional and 1337.</p>

<p>um... more specifically?</p>

<p>that was to LSA--</p>

<p>let's start here for example :)
<a href="http://hacks.mit.edu/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://hacks.mit.edu/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I agree with LSA, you have to visit and meet some students to find out.</p>

<p>At about 3:30 AM (today) we hit a road block on a physics problem set. The specific question involved a block with sides of length L sitting on top of a stationary drum of radius R. The goal was to find the maximum L (in terms of R) where the block would be stable. We eventually arrived at an answer, but were not complete confident in it. To test it, we cut out circles and squares of various sizes, taped them to the wall of the lounge, and traced out the center of mass motion for the squares as they rolled over the circles right onto the wall.</p>

<p>cool! and the solution was correct I suppose?=)</p>

<p>on that note of "3.30am"... how much sleep does the average MIT student get?!</p>

<p>I was happy to see today on the official problem set answers that our solution was indeed correct. :)</p>

<p>As far as sleep goes, MIT definitely operates on an "offset" if not completely irregular sleep schedule, but it depends entirely on your work ethic. It is quite possible to get everything done in a timely fasion and be able to sleep during semi-regular hours. If you are like most people, though, and tend to procrastinate a bit, it isn't uncommon to be up until 2 or 3 on some weeknights before a problem set is due. But the good news is that most classes don't start until 10 or 11 (at earliest, 9, but we tend to skip those ;)) so it's not all that bad. If you are really bad at time management, you may wind up pulling an all-nighter to finish something. (8.012 (aka Freshman Mechanics for Masochists) problem sets are notoriously evil...we started at 7:00 PM and finished at around 4:00 AM.) But once again, it is entirely dependent on your work ethic and diligence.</p>

<p>@zzii:
-Small questions regarding the problem you posted: how can the block be stable if the total moment on it is not zero? What meaning of "stable" is used here, "the block does not roll off the drum" or "the block stays stationary"?
-If the block stays right on top of the drum <the centre="" of="" mass="" the="" block,="" drum="" and="" contacting="" points="" drum-the="" drum-ground,="" four="" are="" linear=""> then L can be at any proportion to R! Is this right?</the></p>

<p>Here is the exact wording from Kleppner and Kolenkow (the most evil freshman mechanics book ever written): </p>

<p>"A cubical block of side L rests on a fixed cylindrical drum of radius R. Find the largest value of L for which the block is stable."</p>

<p>We took this to mean that if the block was disturbed slightly, it woud return to its original position (or, rather, oscillate back and forth around it) rather than falling off the drum.</p>

<p>Thanks :) I got it, though at first I imagined that the question asked for some value of L that enabled the block to be totally stationary <well, impossible="" to="" achieve="" the="" state,="" except="" at="" very="" top=""></well,></p>

<p>Is assumption, which you must have made, the friction is very large?</p>

<p>Yes, the assumption is that there is enough friction to keep the block from slipping on the cylinder. Under small angles of disturbance, this does not have to be "very large," since the normal force is still the predominant force acting against the weight, but it does have to exist. The friction force itself is not really that important to the problem, but as you probably guessed, the assumption that the block rolls without slipping is.</p>

<p>oh man... maybe i'm not so great at physics o_o</p>

<p>To perfectdark9:</p>

<p>How was the system wired up? It indeed is very interesting :)</p>

<p>ahhhh i love the bathroom and laundry websites!! that's the first thing that really attracted me to MIT.</p>