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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

4
votes
0answers
174 views

Can we get a 'good' approximate value of $\sqrt 2$ by an equation which uses each of $1,2,\cdots,9$ once such as $12653\div 8947\approx1.414217$?

I've been interested in representing $\sqrt 2\approx 1.414213562373095$ by an equation which uses each of $1,2,\cdots,9$ once. Suppose that the following conditions must be satisfied. Then, can we get ...
4
votes
0answers
96 views

Arbitrary ratio sequences on a partition of $\mathbb{R}$ (Partition regularity of fixed ratio sequences)

Background: This question arose purely recreationally and doesn't really fit into any context that I know of. Let $A \sqcup B = \mathbb{R}$ be a partition of the ...
4
votes
0answers
194 views

Which chapters of Euclid's elements would be helpful for drawing a grid?

I am drawing a $19 \times 19$ grid on my desk. For aesthetic purposes, I don't want to use a ruler. Rather, I want to use Euclidean theorems to 'prove' to myself that such and such line meets at a ...
4
votes
0answers
204 views

Is the maximal temperature of the curlicue fractal acheived by $e\times\gamma$?

The Curlicue Fractal is defined as follows: Choose an irrational number $s$ and a horizontal unit segment with angle $\phi_0 = 0$. Define $\theta_{n+1} = \theta_{n} + 2 \pi s \pmod{2 \pi}$, with ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

Does Graham's number have an odd or an even number of digits?

I think it is hopeless to decide whether the number of digits of Graham's number is even or odd because the only way that I can think of is determining the logarithm with accuracy $0.1$ or even ...
3
votes
0answers
40 views

Chessboard four-colour theorem

Divide the infinite chess-board into countries, where squares in the same country are connected by edges. Suppose two countries are adjacent if they touch either along an edge or at a corner. What is ...
3
votes
0answers
63 views

2D walks on a square grid; The number of Paths leading to specific $(X,Y)$

Introduction Lets have a 2D plane, and place a Walker in the center $(X,Y)=(0,0)$ Lets take a example where we use all of the possible moves; Walker can make one of the 9 moves each turn: Up, Down, ...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

Polyhedra with identical faces

The isohedra have identical faces. They have symmetries acting transitively on their faces -- any face can be mapped to any other face to give the same figure. There are also polyhedra where all ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Making $66$ with $1,1,1,1,1$

How can one make $66$ with only $1,1,1,1,1$? You cannot combine these two numbers to make a new number, such as this: $66=11 \times (1+1+1)!$. This was inspired a game of dice that I used to play, ...
3
votes
0answers
65 views

Compute shooting targets for the gunmen

This is an extension of the well known "3 gunmen puzzle": N gunmen with hitting probabilities in (0,1] take turns to shoot at each other. Firing order is fixed (gunman 1 shoots first, then gunman ...
3
votes
0answers
345 views

An interesting way to visualize the Mandelbrot Set. Proofs? Simplifications? Extensions?

This is a multi-part Question. Please chime in with any interesting insights in addition to Answers. I have noticed some interesting properties of Mandelbrot series that lead to a different way to ...
3
votes
0answers
44 views

Fun Q2: Polygon inside a polygon. Find Test's area.

A triangle is drawn of side length $a$. Then a square is drawn inside the triangle such that the area of the square is maximum and the bottom side is shared. Then a regular pentagon is drawn inside ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Rifleman game with $n$ players in $D$ dimensions: what is the survivor fraction when $n,D\to\infty$?

This is a follow up to this question where the following problem is explored (for $D=2$): $n$ riflemen are distributed at random points in $[0,1]^D$. At a signal, each one shoots at and kills his ...
3
votes
0answers
42 views

minimum number of times to change tyres.

I saw this brain teaser. Suppose, we travel 1000 miles on a tricycle and we have 5 tyres, then how many times do we need to stop to change tyres so that each of the tyres travelled the same ...
3
votes
0answers
205 views

The mathematics of a drinking game called Spoon

This question is about the drinking game Spoon. It was asked on reddit.com/r/math : http://www.reddit.com/r/math/comments/3i9790/drinking_game_turned_mathematical/ The question is whether the person ...
3
votes
0answers
109 views

Trajectories on a circular billiards table

This question is related to The case of Captain America's shield: a variation of Alhazen's Billard problem, but more focused. Let the unit disc in the plane be our billiards table, and let $C$ ...
3
votes
0answers
92 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) ...
3
votes
0answers
89 views

Bitcoin math problem example

Disclaimer: I'm not a mathematician, if something is complicated, please use layman's terms. Thank you. I'm wondering about this bitcoin thing. I have heard that mining is using a computer to solve ...
3
votes
0answers
100 views

Josephus Variant

I set myself the challenge of trying to solve a variant of trying to solve a variant of the josephus problem where instead of killing every second person, every third person dies. The formula for the ...
3
votes
0answers
97 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
206 views

Limits of infinite processes that terminate in finite time - checking my understanding?

I am a computer scientist by training, but have a fair amount of math background that I've picked up through classes, teaching, and general interest. A student of mine posed a question to me. I think ...
3
votes
0answers
203 views

Prime factor of $14 \uparrow \uparrow 3 + 15\uparrow \uparrow 3$ wanted

Checking the prime factors of the numbers $$z(a,b) \ := a \uparrow \uparrow 3 \ +\ b \uparrow \uparrow 3 \ ,$$ a,b positive integers with a < b the number $$z(14,15) = 14 \uparrow \uparrow ...
3
votes
0answers
236 views

Help explain why (or why not) the solution for a in $\sum_{n=1}^\infty (-1)^n\times(n^{1/n}-a)=0$ is 1-2$C$MRB

$C$MRB is approximately 0.1878596424620671202485179340542732. See this and this. $\sum_{n=1}^\infty (-1)^n\times(n^{1/n}-a)$ is formally convergent only when $a =1$. However, if you extend the ...
3
votes
0answers
495 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
votes
0answers
118 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
votes
0answers
47 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
929 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
votes
0answers
167 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
157 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" ...
3
votes
0answers
431 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
687 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
108 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, ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Toroidal Split Complete Graphs

The paper On the Planar Split Thickness of Graphs shows how non-planar graphs can be split to make planar graphs. For example, they offer a split $K_{6,10}$. I would instead like to make split ...
2
votes
0answers
145 views

How to find Misiurewicz Points without solving huge polynomials? (Mandelbrot Set)

Here is a plot of 17,723 Misiurewicz Points. The code below generates a set of polynomials u[m,n], the roots of which have periodicity (m-n) starting at iteration n. I stopped at 17,723 points ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

The hardest game of mahjongg

I was playing Mahjongg solitaire the other day. It got me thinking... The board has $2n$ pieces at the beginning and assuming that the game is winnable. The game would be trivial if there would be ...
2
votes
0answers
121 views

Number of ways to color a grid?

I have a $N \times M $ grid and I am trying to calculate the number of ways I can color this grid in maximum $k$ colors (I can use only $2$ colors or all $k$ colors) with the exception that two ...
2
votes
0answers
214 views

How can all players in the Starcraft 2 Grandmaster league win more than they lose?

Starcraft 2 is a competitive online strategy game where players compete in leagues with other players of similar skill. The most difficult and highest league is the Grandmaster (GM) league, which ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

Could you suggest books, papers or problems that could be used as good “general” motivating examples of calculus application?

I would like to stress the kind of reference I am looking for... In statistics there are lots of motivating (and sometimes unexpected) examples that are interested for everyone such as Birthday ...
2
votes
0answers
87 views

When solving a big Rubik cube (100x100x100), do you reduce the solution to like 50x50x50, and then 25x25x25, and then like 10x10x10 and then 3x3x3?

My question is about Rubiks cube. Say you're solving a 100x100x100 cube (you can see examples in youtube by computer program - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cedyW6JdsQ) When solving a big Rubik ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Queen moves — The Squared Chain Puzzle

Karl Scherer made the interesting Squared Chain Puzzle. Start with a $7\times7$ board, with a queen somewhere. Make a legal move with the queen, placing coins over all squares visited. For subsequent ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Alternative Arithmetics

In Anderson et. al 2010, "Cognitive and metacognitive activity in mathematical problem solving: prefrontal and parietal patterns", the experimenters taught people how to solve a novel system of ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Is there a contiguous locus of the equality $a = b$ in $\zeta(\rho + \varepsilon)=a + î b$ in the near of a root?

This is just by an accidental couriosity: In the near of a root $\rho$ of the Riemann's zeta - can there be a continuous line starting from $\zeta(\rho)=0$ to $\zeta(\rho + \varepsilon_j)=a_j + î b_j ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Start with a circular cake…

This is a random math question I saw and it piqued my interest. I like cake. Start with a circular cake and cut it with five straight slices. What is the largest number of pieces that you can create ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Help with understanding Rating Systems

Hey guys so I'm trying to come with a rating system from 1-10 that will be determined based on how close a user is to an average value that I have. I don't have any data(other than the average value) ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Puzzle about decomposing numbers with $+, -,\times, \div$

In the book The Moscow Puzzles by Kordemsky I came across the following puzzle (no. 47): Express 100 three ways with five 5s. You can use brackets, parentheses, and these signs: $+, -,\times, ...
2
votes
0answers
105 views

A fashion victim puzzle

Consider $n \in \mathbb{N}$ fashion-sensitive kids, each wearing a T-shirt; for simplicity, kid $i \in \{1, \ldots, n\}$ initially wears shirt $i$. Tastes over the shirts are summarized in an $n ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

The odyssey of spies: Kryptos

The part four $K4$ of Sanborn sculpture, a sculpture located on the grounds of the CIA in Langley remains unsolved. As you can read in [1], Sanborn released a clue for the 64th-69th letters in part ...
2
votes
0answers
84 views

Efficient elevator strategy

Suppose an institution building has 12 floors and there are a total of 8 lifts. Now lets say a situation arises at peak times where almost all the lifts are crowded and people randomly enter any lift, ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

making integers from a given set

this Q is very easily generalizable. For example consider $1,2,3$ and $4$. We have $1=1, 2=2, 3=3, 4=4, 5=4+1, 6=2\times 3, 11=4\times 3-1$. You can only use each number once. 37 is the first number ...
2
votes
0answers
23 views

Find least numerator and denominator for a given sequence of numbers in decimal form

Say I have a sequence (s) of digits written as number. (Ex: 1234567890) I need to find out shortest possible pair of numerator (n) and denominator (d) that ,being converted to decimal form of fraction ...