Puzzles, curiosities, brain teasers and other mathematics done "just for fun".

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419 views

Guilloché security printing — can it be cracked?

Money uses Security printing, and often uses Guilloché patterns. These curves are inscribed by wheels on wheels on wheels, ten wheels deep in some cases. For example, the back of the US $1 bill has ...
3
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114 views

A photon in expanding Universe (a snail on a tree)

I want to know how far a snail can reach in expanding universe. It has a constant speed c = 1 and tree is expanding at speed $v= H_0 D$, with Hubble constant $H_0 = 1$. Here D(T) is the distance of ...
3
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41 views

How to find the point in a closed geometrical figure which maximizes the “direct-line-of-sight function”

To expand upon the title, and put it in clear terms, I phrase the problem thusly: Consider the interior of any continuous, closed, non-self-intersecting curve in the plane. (I'm not sure if I'm ...
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747 views

Turning radius of a vehicle

What's the minimum turning radius of a vehicle, rectangular in shape, with length l units and width w units? One key point to consider, would be that, the inclination of the front wheels can be ...
3
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138 views

Is there a way to determine how many solution does “ The hundred Fowls problems” have looking at the coefficients?

I was looking at the different versions of the hundred fowls problems. I came across the problem posed by Chinese mathematicians posed in 5th century,and then Indians in 9th, 10th centuries. Alcuin of ...
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347 views

“Green Globs” question

When I was in high school geometry, we had a fun little game on the computer called Green Globs (the website for the software is http://www.greenglobs.net/index.html). A number of targets (globs) are ...
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607 views

Four candle problem: Using candles as timers

The candles each take one hour to burn completely. Cutting off bits of the candles is forbidden, but the candles are placed on a raft of fork handles so they may be burnt at both ends (e.g. to time ...
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103 views

Least characters in a numerical representation of integers

I was wondering what the shortest way to represent any given number is. For example, $387420489=9^9$. So, for this case, the smallest representation is of order 2 (2 numbers). Alternatively, ...
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40 views

Can i connect these points in a way that satisfies these conditions?

I apologise in advance for the horrible phrasing. If you imagine 3 points like this: You would then draw a path between A and B and another between B and C, such that the length of the line AB is ...
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29 views

How to maximize the minimal amount not payable with the exchange of at most two coins?

Background I've been thinking about payments which you can do using at most two coins. This includes three possible cases: You pay by giving one coin of the value you owe (for example, if you have ...
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58 views

Does typesetting of mathematical content differ in right-to-left languages?

Languages such as Arabic or Hebrew are written right-to-left. Does the way mathematical content is written differ in those languages? Some simple examples of which I would be interested to know how ...
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58 views

What is the best way to master my algebra skills without taking an algebra class?

I was in advanced math my entire life. I got through all the math I needed for my original degree. 8 years later here I am changing degrees and I need more math. I just took calculus I and I passed ...
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70 views

Is this proof of a mathematical olympiad problem correct?

I'm quite sure about the exactness of my proof, but I'd like to hear (constructive) criticism about my writing. This is the problem: Every non-negative integer is coloured white or red, so that: 1) ...
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37 views

Is there an intuitive reason why hippopede, the intersection curve of a sphere and a cylinder, is traced by composing two rotational motions?

The hippopede is historically famous because Eudoxus used its properties in the first mathematical model of planetary motion. He nested concentric spheres rotating at different inclinations to each ...
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67 views

area estimation with tiling

For any given shape drawn on a graph paper, a kid can calculate the area of any shape by counting the tiles with a simple formula: any edge covering 50% or more, mark the tile; total area = sum all ...
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150 views

Homework Question for a 15 year old

My younger brother(age: 14 years 7 months) and his classmates were given a set of eight questions by his class-teacher, which included the following two questions: (i) Find, if you can, the fallacy ...
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232 views

Given a number of items, how many sets of three are there where no two sets are two thirds similar?

Sorry if the title isn't proper math-talk. Hopefully I can explain it better here. So let's say we have a set. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. I want to know how many groups of three can be made where no ...
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80 views

How much advantage would a Blackjack player gain by being able to see the underside of cards?

In the novel Spaceland by Rudy Rucker, the protagonist Joe Cube is grafted with an eyestalk that sticks vout into the fourth dimension. This lets him see under and inside three-dimensional objects ...
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140 views

Inserting +/- into 123456789…

I'm looking at a generalization of the problem of inserting + and/or - into the blocks $123456789$ and $987654321$ to create a formula for $100$, like this: $$123 - 45 - 67 + 89 = 100$$ $$9 - 8 + 7 ...
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135 views

Megaminx parity

I have an old 12-colored Megaminx that I put all new stickers on because the old ones were falling off. This Megaminx was in more of a state of disrepair than I originally thought, though, and when I ...
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1k views

Sum of cubes of the digits of a number equal to to the number

I have a number, I don't know how large or small, but if I cube the digits of the number and sum them, the sum is equal to the number itself. In other words, $$\sum_{k=1}^n{a_k^3}=\sum_{k=1}^{n}{a_k ...
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62 views

How to prove $\sum_{n=1}^\infty (-1)^n(x n^{1/n}+y n)=(c-1/2) x-1/4 y$?

Could someone help me prove this theorem where regularization is used so that the sum that formally diverges returns a result that can be interpreted as evaluation of the analytic extension of the ...
2
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528 views

K non-intersecting diagonals in a polygon

Given a regular N-sided polygon, how many ways can you draw K non-intersecting diagonals? Any pair of diagonals must not intersect strictly inside the polygon. For e.g. N = 4 and K = 2 -> 2 ways ...
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67 views

How many Hamiltonian loop are there in a big rectangle?

Suppose I have some big rectangle made of $n \times m$ squares, and I want to place tiles on it in a manner that makes a picture of a hamiltonian loop. I can transform this problem into a problem ...
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59 views

Visually apealing holologous transformation of a given contour

There is this problem which roughly says: You want to put a framed picture onto the wall with a cord to the picture frame. The cord is a single one, and both ends are attached to the frame. ...
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37 views

For which minimal $k$ true is that ${4}^{k}\cdot n\leq \displaystyle\sum^{n}_{i=1}{a}_{i}^{k}\leq {5}^{k}\cdot n$, ${a}_{i}\in {1,2,3,4,5,6}$?

I've got the following inequality, which bounds Minkowski distance. ${4}^{k}\cdot n\leq \displaystyle\sum^{n}_{i=1}{a}_{i}^{k}\leq {5}^{k}\cdot n$ and values of ${a}_{i}\in {1,2,3,4,5,6}$ We know all ...
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0answers
217 views

Dates and times with no repeated digits?

I have a digital clock that shows the date and time like this: $$ \mathsf{YYYY-(M)M-(D)D\qquad (H)H:MM \; [:SS]} $$ That is, the seconds display is optional, and if the month or day or hour is ...
2
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0answers
123 views

A system of linear equations in integer squares - solvable?

I consider this more a "recreational math" problem, possibly lacking a solution (because it stems from the question of "magic square of squares") or simply intractable with reasonable effort. ...
2
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0answers
78 views

Tilting sealed drums for fun

A sealed cylindrical drum of radius r is filled with 9% of water. Now if the drum is tilted to rest on its side, show that the fraction of the curved surface area (not counting the flat sides) ...
2
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0answers
137 views

For which positive integers n does there exist a prime whose digits sum to n?

Motivated by this earlier question, I thought of this problem: Question: For which positive integers $n$ does there exist a prime whose decimal digits sum to $n$? We can make two "easy" ...
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296 views

Does this approach to the Collatz Conjecture make any sense.

I was playing around with the Collatz Conjecture and came up with the following: Take any positive integer. If it's odd, multiply by three and add one. If it's even, divide by two. Repeat ...
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167 views

$n$ by $n$ Primally Magic Squares

(Again copied verbatim from a September 2009 thread I made.) A Primally Magic Square (PMS) is exactly like a traditional magic square with a change of criteria. Where a traditional magic square is ...
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0answers
19 views

Rotation of 15 people at five tables

I have five tables of four people each. At each table is a table leader who remains stationery. How do I rotate the 15 participants so that they get to meet new people each time they rotate?
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0answers
34 views

Shortest smooth paper Möbius Strip

I want to make a familiar Möbius strip of width 1 unit satisfying the physical properties of paper. Assume paper is a ruled surface, and the strip has to be smooth and non-self-intersecting. What ...
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0answers
36 views

Interesting horserace counting problem

So for a horserace with no drawing horses there are n! Results. How many results will there be if the horses can draw?
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19 views

Discrete Model Finding Stability

For the discrete model $$x_{t+1} = (\lambda +1)x_t +x_t^3$$ Draw a bifurcation diagram (expressing the equilibrium vs $\lambda$ for values of $\lambda$ near zero. I have the bifurcation diagram. It ...
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0answers
63 views

Is the solution to this elementary number theory problem correct?

Problem: A natural number $n$ is called nice if the following properties hold: • The expression is made ​​up of 4 decimal digits; • the first and third digits of $n$ are equal; • the second and ...
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116 views

Crossed Ladders Problem

Two ladders, one 10 meters long and the other 8 meters [long], have been placed in a trench as indicated in the opposite figure. Their point of intersection, M, is 3 meters from the base of the ...
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0answers
24 views

Find all points on the line 9x-21y=6

For this equation we are suppose to use the Euclidean Algorithm. But I run into a problem For the GCD (9,-21)= i tried 9=(-21)(0)+9 -21=9(3)+6 9=6(1)+3 6=3(2) +0 which gives a gcd of 3 and the ...
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0answers
52 views

Placing $4n$ non-attaking queens of in a $4n \times 4n$ chessboard.

Is it possible to place $4n$ non-attaking queens of in a $4n \times 4n$ chessboard?? I have found that it can be done for $4 \times 4$ chess board and trying to extend it to $8 \times 8$ chessboard ...
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0answers
61 views

Where can Gaussian Elimination be used?

I have searched for this and came to know about it that it is traditionally used to solve linear equations, finding determinant, rank of matrix, inverse of matrix. There was a problem on codechef: ...
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0answers
30 views

Adding a factor to a ranking?

I have a ranking of 10 items from best to worst. Let's assume that the best is ranked 1 and the worst is ranked 10. Each item is ranked according to some rules that we cannot know so all we get is the ...
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0answers
54 views

sum of integers of two exponents equal

For what values of n, such that $n \in \mathbb{Z}^+,$ does the sum of digits $(214)^n$ and $(2014)^n$ equal? So I found $1$, which is fairly obvious, there are supposed to be more?
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83 views

measuring the curvature of a pringle

Assuming for the sake of argument that a pringle shaped potato chip has a constant negative curvature, (which according to http://math.stackexchange.com/a/617610/88985 it is not ) see also picture ...
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0answers
174 views

Are there tricks to solve seating arrangement problems?

How are seating problems solved in general? I am stuck on this one for example. There are 8 houses in a line and in each house only one boy lives with the conditions as given below: Jack is not the ...
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0answers
31 views

Maximum number of non-zero entries ,such that no two non-zero entries are on the same row or column.

In an M x N matrix such that all non-zero entries are covered in "a" rows and " b" columns. Then the maximum number of non-zero entries ,such that No two non-zero entries are on the same row or column ...
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0answers
36 views

Which $L \subset [0,1]$ equal the set of limits of a sequence of a sequence in $[0,1] \setminus L$?

I was glanced at this question here and it cause me to wonder the following: Question: Is there a simple description of the subsets $L \subset [0,1]$ with the property that there exists a sequence ...
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0answers
59 views

Game idea “square or not”

I have an idea of a quadrilateral / square game, and am looking for help. For the moment lets call it the "Square or Not " game. Imagine we have a big stack of cards with on each card some property ...
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0answers
50 views

Shannon number upper and lower bounds

What are the best proved upper and lower bounds for the Shannon number, i.e. number of possible positions of chess? Is the upper bound 7728772977965919677164873487685453137329736522 given in ...