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Pivot! Mathematician reveals how Ross Geller COULD have got the couch up the stairs in iconic Friends scene; While Ross struggles in the series, a mathematician has revealed that in reality, he could have got it up the stairs.

Byline: Shivali Best

Say the word 'pivot' to anyFriendsfan, and it will instantly make them laugh.

The word is iconic thanks to the episode in which Ross struggles to get his new couch up the stairs to his apartment.

While Ross struggles in the series, amathematicianhas revealed that in reality, he could have got it up the stairs.

By analysing the scene and estimating the dimensions of the stairs and couch, SpareRoom and mathematician DrCaroline Zunckel have produced an equation explaining how Ross could have moved the couch into his flat.

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Pivot scene

Dr Zunckel said: "By applying Pythagoras' theorem to the estimated measurements of Ross's sofa in a vertical position and dimensions of the stairwell, I was able to establish that it would have been possible for Ross to get the sofa up the stairwell and into the flat without resorting to the extreme measure of chopping it in half. It's quite simple really!"

While Ross focused on the pivot, the researchers suggest he should have factored in tilt.

The equation they came up with is:

Angle of vertical tilt (T) = 44.15064 -11.94274xWS (Width of the Stairwell) + 8.69119xWC (Width of the Couch) + 3.65961xLC (Length of the Couch)

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Step 1: Ross should have measured the width of the stairs (WS), and the width (WC) and length (LC) of the couch.

Step 2: Ross should have used the equation to find out the minimum angle (T) that the couch would need to be tilted upwards to move around the 90-degree corner of the stairwell.

Step 3: After carrying the couch to the corner Ross, Rachel and Chandler reach a point where they can't move any more. When this happens Ross, Rachel and Chandler should have rested the couch against the corner.

Step 4: Here the friends should have tilted the couch vertically towards the ceiling until the angle between the stairs and the base of the couch was greater than or equal to T. At this point the vertical length of the couch would be smaller than the horizontal length and they should have been able to successfully pivot the couch round the corner without it getting stuck.

Step 5: Once round the corner Ross, Rachel and Chandler should have moved the couch back to its original orientation and then carried it up to the flat.


Credit: Warner Bros

The iconic 'pivot' scene

Credit: SpareRoom

Researchers have produced an equation explaining how Ross could have moved the couch into his flat

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Title Annotation:Science
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2018
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