The Elevator Paradox: Why the Cars Always Appear to Be Moving in the Wrong Direction

Fans of TV fictional dramas in which FBI agents and other investigators solve crimes may have enjoyed the show Numbers, in which professor Charles Eppes helped the team by analyzing the situation mathematically. In one episode, he discusses a concept known to physicists as the elevator paradox. Building designers who need equipment installed by a company like Elevator Technologies Inc in Arlington VA might give some thought to this paradox when considering how many elevators are needed and where they should be placed.

A Rueful Premise

The idea behind this paradox is a rueful one. It suggests that for a person on any floor other than the first or top story, elevators are always going the wrong way. Someone on the second floor wants to go up, but when the elevator arrives, it’s going down and keeps on moving. Someone on the fifth floor wants to go down, but the elevator is going up.

How It Works

Although it may very well seem this way to people working in a building with several stories, the elevator paradox turned out only to be partially true. And the reasons behind the design are sound ones. It all depends on which floor the person is waiting and how many floors are in the building.

Elevator cars spend most of the time beneath the upper floors and usually go there if somebody on the first floor needs to go up. A person who happens to be on the fifth floor pressing the call button will typically see the lights indicating the car has gone up to the sixth or seventh floor before it returns to pick up this passenger on the way down. Factoring in two or more elevators makes the math quite complex.

Providing Convenience

Nevertheless, equipment installed by a company such as Elevator Technologies Inc in Arlington VA is intended to provide the most convenience possible for anyone residing in, working in, or visiting a multi-story building. That’s why most systems are designed so, elevator cars not in use return to the first floor, where most people get on at any given time. Click Here for information on this particular company and its services.

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