A Journal of Mechanics & Mathematics by Dr.D, #54 B
Mine Hoist Problem, Hint #2
The original Mine Hoist Problem was posted 25 August 2020, and the first Hint was given on 8 September. We are now almost one month into this problem, and thus far no one has sent me even so much as a question other than Tim Dennison's request for a video. I'm not quite sure how to understand this. I see two basic possibilities:
1.The problem is so dull and uninteresting that no one could possibly care about it;
2.The problem is so difficult that no one has any idea where to start.
Assuming the second option, this Hint will help to get a few people started, I hope!
What To Do When You Do Not Have A Clue?
What do you do, as an engineer, when confronted with a problem where you don't know where to start? This is an entirely serious question, and it has happened to me a number of times in my engineering career. Much of what engineers do is fairly routine; each new problem is pretty similar to the previous one. What worked previously can probably be adapted to work on the new problem. But this is not always the case. What do you do when the boss hands you a difficult problem and says, "Figure this out." Do you really want to tell him that it entirely beyond your ability?
If you want to keep your job, saying that this task is beyond your capability is not a good idea. So we are back to the beginning: What do you do when confronted with a problem where you don't know where to start? The answer is really quite simple, at least in theory. You find out more about the problem! This should probably begin with an inventory of just what you do know about the problem, and then start looking for ways to get additional information.
For the present, I suggest that we focus on Case 1. As I told you in the original post on this problem, I have not worked it, and that remains true at this time. However, I've made a start on it, and I can see where I would go next, so I want to share part of that with you here to see if that will precipitate any action from readers