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Saturday, 08 February 1997

Scientists and a Fire

A physicist, an engineer and a mathematician were all in a hotel sleeping when a fire broke out in their respective rooms.

The physicist woke up, saw the fire, ran over to his desk, pulled out his CRC, and began working out all sorts of fluid dynamics equations. After a couple minutes, he threw down his pencil, got a graduated cylinder out of his suitcase, and measured out a precise amount of water. He threw it on the fire, extinguishing it, with not a drop wasted, and went back to sleep.

The engineer woke up, saw the fire, ran into the bathroom, turned on the faucets full-blast, flooding out the entire apartment, which put out the fire, and went back to sleep.

The mathematician woke up, saw the fire, ran over to his desk, began working through theorems, lemmas, hypotheses , you -name-it, and after a few minutes, put down his pencil triumphantly and exclaimed, "I have *proven* that I *can* put the fire out!" He then went back to sleep.

When You Graduate

  • The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
  • The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
  • The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
  • The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

How do you prove that all odd numbers are prime?

Depends who you ask

Logician
Hypothesis: All odd numbers are prime Proof:
  1. If a proof exists, then the hypothesis must be true
  2. The proof exists; you're reading it now.
From 1 and 2 follows that all odd numbers are prime
Physicist
3 is a prime 5 is a prime 7 is a prime 9 is not prime, experimental error

Mathematician

3 is a prime 5 is a prime 7 is a prime by induction all the rest are prime

Engineer
3 is a prime 5 is a prime 7 is a prime 9 is a prime

Some Pithy Quotes

The engineer thinks of his equations as an approximation to reality. The physicist thinks reality is an approximation to his equations. The mathematician doesn't care.

A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it. An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it.

Diagnosing Car Trouble

Three men, a physicist, a engineer and a computer scientist, are travelling in a car. Suddenly, the car starts to smoke and stops. The three atonished men try to solve the problem:

The physicist says: This is obviously a classic problem of torque. It has overloaded the elasticity limit of the main axis.

The engineer says: Let's be serious! The matter is that it has burned the spark of the connecting rod to the dynamo of the radiator. I can easily repair it by hammering.

The computer scientist says: What if we get off the car, wait a minute, and then get in and try again?


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Surprising Facts

  • A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.