You have a balance beam, the kind of scale that tips from one side to the other, depending on the weight on each side. On each side is a beaker, half-filled with water. The sides are in balance. Now, on the left side, you submerge a ping-pong ball suspended by a string. On the right side, you submerge a steel ball of the same volume as the ping-pong ball suspended from a crane.
Challenge: Does the balance beam tip to the right, to the left, or does it remain unchanged?
Please email your solution to John Kador at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “Odd Balance.” Deadline is Sept. 1, 2013. One entrant with the correct answer (or a creative alternative) will receive a signed copy of John Kador’s How to Ace the Brainteaser Job Interview. Good luck to all.