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Mr. Guercio's Brick



Many times during our class, our physics teacher, Mr. Fullerton, has said how he would love to sit in on one of Mr. Guercio's classes one day because it seems like it would be really interesting. I found this humorous, but I never expected that physics would make its way into my English classroom in a completely different way. 

As I walked into Mr. Guercio's room the other day, the door started slowly closing on me despite the fact that it had a brick in front of it being used for a doorstop. My first instinct was to suggest that this was caused by the fact that the brick was hollow and not heavy enough to stop the door. However upon speaking to Mr. Guercio, I realized that the door closing on me was caused by a different problem. Mr. Guercio said that the brick used to be part of a wall in the school until they expanded the building. He said that he had found the brick when he started teaching at the school and had been using it as a doorstop for a long time. So it was not the brick that was too light, but that there was not enough friction. Since it had been used for so long as a doorstop, the brick had matted down the carpet and there was no longer enough friction between the floor and the brick to prevent the brick from moving. Thus, it was no longer an effective door stop.

Although this is a very basic application of physics in the real world, it was interesting to find that there is always a different way to look at a physics problem. Sometimes gaining new information from a different perspective can make all the difference. Unfortunately for Mr. Guercio, his door might stay shut for a while until he can find what he called "a carpet rake" to make the brick work again. 


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