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61 weird and wonderful ways to measure a building with a smartphone

Feedback is our weekly column of bizarre stories, implausible advertising messages, confusing instructions, and much more

4th November 2020

Increased interest

Our hats, of which we have a lot, are this week for Frédéric Bouquet and roommates of the 15-meter-high laboratory for solid state physics in Orsay, France, for their work “61 ways to measure the height of a building with a smartphone” ( /abs/2010.11606).

We are reminded of an urban legend about a physics student who later turned out to be Niels Bohr. When asked during an oral test to describe how he could do something similar with a barometer, he came up with several undoubtedly correct answers that helped …