Well, I am going through some article writing for Greek puzzles in general,
(did you know that the Ostomachion by Archimedes is the oldest known
mechanical puzzle saved in written scripts?), so felt the need to mention
an amazing (yet simple) Cup made by Pythagoras (The Puzzle Ninja is
surely proud to know about this cup LOL)
Forget about the normal puzzle jugs/vessels. This ladies and gentlemen,
is the real thing! In Greek it is called Dikea Koupa (Δικαία Κούπα), and the
engineering behind it can surprise many. So how does it work?
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The Pythagorean cup is a form of drinking cup which allows the user to fill
the cup with wine up to a certain level. If the user fills the cup no further
than that level he may enjoy his drink in peace. If he exhibits gluttony
however, the cup wreaks instant retribution by spilling its contents out
through the bottom. Pythagoras’ cup looks exactly like a normal drinking cup,
except that the bowl has a central column in it.
The central column of the bowl is positioned directly over the stem of the cup
and over the hole at the bottom of the stem. A small, open pipe runs from this
hole almost to the top of the central column, where there is an open chamber.
PythagorasCup.jpg [ 7.99 KiB | Viewed 2377 times ]
The chamber is connected by a second pipe to the bottom of the central column,
where a hole in the column exposes the pipe to the contents of the cup. When
the cup is filled, liquid rises through the second pipe up to the chamber at the
top of the central column. As long as the level of the liquid does not rise beyond
the level of the chamber, everything is all right. If the level rises further however,
the liquid spills through the chamber into the first pipe and out through the bottom.Hydrostatic pressure then creates a siphon through the central column causing the
entire contents of the cup to be emptied through the hole at the bottom of the stem.
By this way, the avid is punished.
So... does anyone want to join me at my place for a... drink?