SolRo usually you fix a wobbly table with a coaster or something because if every math yahoo rotated their tables around it would end up looking like a mess and block areas.

Simillion I don't get it. How is he able to fix legs 2, 3, and 4 at a height of zero? I get that leg 1 will eventually make perfect contact at height 0 but when ever does the floor magically stay flat selectively for the other legs? That assumption made this far less interesting for me.

If you drew the f(x) for each leg then they would all follow an identical shpe over the full 360 degrees of potential rotation, each one offset from the other by bout 90 degrees right? The table would be balanced only at a point where all the curves meet at y=0. Because there are so mny curve shapes that you could create that would never have all four legs meet at y=0 doesn't this solution suck ass?

Just cause it fits in 7 minutes doesn't make it elegant, it makes it incomplete. Usually numberphile videos are 20+ mins long and answer all my questions. This one fell short for me.

chumbucket Like any solid mathematics, if you can bracket some unrealistic base assumptions, you can always find your way to the proof.

Through my 4 years of college we could do just about anything on paper if we assumed "gravity to be constant and insignificant".

glasseye Assuming a spherical cow of uniform density...

fluffy That's the bit I didn't like about his explanation. The assumption is that leg 1 is the wobbly one, whereas legs 2, 3 and 4 are always on the ground, thus they have a height difference of 0. Assuming it's the ground that's uneven (and not the leg length that's different) and legs 2, 3 and 4 stay on the ground (changing their height but maintaining a gap of 0), there must be some orientation at which leg 1 intersects the ground.

Maggot Brain Of course there is nothing wrong with the table, it is a perfectly good German-made table. The problem is with the DIRTY POLISH EARTH!!!

Old_Zircon Unstability again... and vee HATE that.

5 very German stars

Old_Zircon Also, if you just take a good sized gulp of the beer and then put it down somewhere on the diagonal between the two legs that form the fulcrum, even if the table wobbles the beer mug itself shouldn't move enough to spill anything.