June 6, 2003
Well, first off, let me thank Yonatan Zunger, who sent me a helpful e-mail answering the magnet question for me. I had been making a hidden assumption that the magnetic fields involved would stay constant. What actually happens is this: The electro-magnet creates a magnetic field going out in all directions. It has momentum, but has no effect on the magnet because it's vectored in all directions so as to make 0 effect on the magnet. That field gets to the iron, which polarizes and makes its own field. That new field gets back to the magnet and pulls on it. As the two get closer, the iron's field gets stronger. It will ultimately end up with the magnet and iron meeting at their center of mass and cancelling each other's velocities when they collide.
Now, on to the riddles:
Oh, and feel free to email me or post on the board your opinions of the "Diabolical Riddle Day" concept. If you like it, I'll do it more often. If you're rather just have a gag-a-day all the time, I can do that too.