Electronics World articles Popular Electronics articles QST articles Radio & TV News articles Radio-Craft articles Radio-Electronics articles Short Wave Craft articles Wireless World articles Google Search of RF Cafe website Sitemap Electronics Equations Mathematics Equations Equations physics Manufacturers & distributors Engineer Jobs LinkedIn Crosswords Engineering Humor Kirt's Cogitations RF Engineering Quizzes Notable Quotes Calculators Education Engineering Magazine Articles Engineering software RF Cafe Archives RF Cascade Workbook 2018 RF Symbols for Visio - Word Advertising Magazine Sponsor RF Cafe RF Electronics Symbols for Visio RF Electronics Symbols for Office Word RF Electronics Stencils for Visio Sponsor Links Saturday Evening Post NEETS EW Radar Handbook Microwave Museum About RF Cafe Aegis Power Systems Anritsu Alliance Test Equipment Amplifier Solutions Anatech Electronics Axiom Test Equipment Berkeley Nucleonics Bittele Centric RF Conduct RF Copper Mountain Technologies Empower RF everything RF Exodus Advanced Communications Innovative Power Products ISOTEC KR Filters Lotus Systems PCB Directory Rigol San Francisco Circuits Reactel RFCT TotalTemp Technologies Triad RF Systems Windfreak Technologies Withwave LadyBug Technologies Wireless Telecom Group Sponsorship Rates RF Cafe Software Resources Vintage Magazines Thank you for visiting RF Cafe!
Berkeley Nucleonics Corporation - RF Cafe

MIT Students Drop Piano from Roof of Baker House
Videos for Engineers

MIT Students Drop Piano from Roof of Baker House - RF Cafe Video for EngineersWhen I saw the headline this weekend about students dropping a piano from a dormitory roof, I figured it was yet another installment of the annual Piano Drop orchestrated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineering class; it was. The Piano Drop is held on the same day as the last day that a class can be dropped. In 1972, notorious trickster Charlie Bruno decided it would be a good idea to take a piano to the roof of the Baker House dorm ("Year after year, Baker is the top choice in the housing lottery") and, with great fanfare by assembled students below, send it to its undignified musical death. According to witnesses, though, rather than go out with a cacophony of nonharmonic percussional tones and semitones, the ceremony ended with a single, short-lived loud thud. Still, for guys, just watching something fall from great heights and crash to the ground is worth the trouble. Don't doubt me on this.

This year's event marks two important benchmarks, one of which helped boost the story to the national level. 2012 is the 40th anniversary of the piano drop tradition, and, the reason for increased coverage, it is the first time that dropped classes can be expunged from a student's records.

As a side note, in honor of Charlie's efforts, a new unit of measure was named after him: the Bruno. One Bruno is "A unit of volume equal to the size of the dent in asphalt resulting from the free fall of an upright piano. Determined to be 1158 cubic centimeters when the experiment was first performed in 1972. [MIT Club of Boston, 1999]." According to their calculations, the piano was traveling at 43 mi/hr and contained 45000 kft·lbs of energy when it hit. This year's event was used as an opportunity to "recalibrate" the Bruno unit.

Since most of us here are engineers or technicians, I am providing the calculation for the velocity. I could not find the exact height of the Baker House, but it is six stories, and a typical building story is 10 feet tall. Plus, there is about a 3-foot high safety wall on the roof. So, let us assume a height of (6 x 10)+3 = 63 feet. The equation for final speed of a falling object with a beginning speed = zero (0) is given by:

s = sqrt (2 g h)   (neglecting air resistance)

s = sqrt (2 32.2ft/s 63ft) = 63.7 ft/s = 43 mi/hr... in agreement with the published speed.

Verification of the energy content is left as an exercise for the reader.

MIT is no stranger to creating new units of measure. Another famous engineering student, Oliver Smoot, was used as a "yardstick" by fellow students to determine the length of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, which has been determined to be 364.4 Smoots long. Google even has the built-in converter (they do not have a Bruno unit conversion, though):

1 smoot = 5.58333333 feet (5 feet 7 inches)

Read more of the MIT piano drop on the Boston.com website.

MIT Students Drop Piano from Dorm Roof

Here Is the Original Piano Drop from 1972

Videos for Engineers - RF CafeThis archive links to the many video and audio files that have been featured on RF Cafe.

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 |

| 16 | 17 | 18 |19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 |

Posted April 30, 2012

Windfreak Technologies Frequency Synthesizers - RF Cafe
Lotus Communication Systems Modular RF Component Building Blocks - RF Cafe
PCB Directory (Manufacturers)
Rigol DSG5000 Microwave Generator - RF Cafe

Please Support RF Cafe by purchasing my  ridiculously low−priced products, all of which I created.

These Are Available for Free


About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

My Hobby Website: