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

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2
votes
2answers
41 views

Construct $100$ using digits $123456789$ and the operations $+,-,×,÷$

From an old book I found the following question. Use the digits $1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9$ and the operations $"+,-,×,÷"$ with $( )$ for construct the result $100.$ During the computations the order of ...
1
vote
2answers
210 views

A problem for math lovers to count the digits

Today a classmate of mine asked a question which is based on counting. Question. Find a positive integer which when multiplied up to $6$ times will give numbers having the same digits but rearranged ...
0
votes
1answer
334 views

Find Volume of a Wineglass - a Slice

A spherical wineglass, known diameter, is brim full of wine. What is the width of any vertical parallel slice with a volume of 1/4 of the wine? Assume that the height of the wineglass is known.
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Mathematical reasons for hull design relative to sustainable angle of heel

I've recently been doing a comparative study of ancient Sumerian mythology relative to the book of Genesis. I am curious if there is a way to explain mathematically why a circular, square (cubic) or ...
1
vote
0answers
38 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
506 views

Find all bijections $\,\,f:[0,1]\rightarrow[0,1],\,$ which satisfy $\,\,f\big(2x-f(x)\big)=x$.

A friend of mine gave me the following problem: Find all functions $f:[0,1]\to[0,1]$, which are one-to-one and onto and satisfy the following functional relation: $$ f\big(2x-f(x)\big)=x, \tag{1} $$ ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Concatenating squares - is this solution unique?

This question asks about concatenated squares to make a square number. For example $[4][9]=49, [16][9]=169, [3136][441]=3136441, [64][009]=64009$ I've been doing a bit of investigating for the case ...
2
votes
1answer
319 views

Arithmetic progressions of perfect powers

Find the largest positive integer $n<100$, such that there exists an arithmetic progression of positive integers $a_1,a_2,...,a_n$ with the following properties. $1)$ All numbers ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the best strategy for Cookie-Clicker-esque games?

Today, I stumbled across the game Cookie Clicker, which I recommend you avoid until you have at least a few hours of time to waste. The basic idea behind the game is this: You have a large stash of ...
1
vote
0answers
31 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Which numbers have the sum of their digits equal to the sum of the digits of their inverse?

$n$ is a number such as $n \in \mathbb{N}$ and $n >0$.(Eg. $n = 8$) $p$ is the sum of the digits of $n$ in base $10$.(Eg. $n=80$, $a = 8+0 = 8$) $q$ is the sum of the digits of $1/n$ in base ...
0
votes
2answers
24 views

replacing numbers to get final anser

I found this question in a random problem solving book that I was reading and wanted to know how you would solve it. I am not sure as how to go about this. Take any positive integer $n$ with fewer ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

How to conceptualize unintuitive topology?

I found Project Origami: Activities for Exploring Mathematics in my university's library the other day and quickly FUBAR'd (folded-up beyond all recognition) the couple sheets of paper I had with me ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

Pig Wheel question

A friend of mine was playing the bar game Pig Wheel recently and posed some interesting questions to me. He was playing with others as a group of four and, acting collectively, they came out about ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Has the mathematics of 4d-tetris, or any other 4-dimensional polyforms been studied?

There are a few variations of 4d tetris games floating around the internet, but I'm more interested to know if there's been mathematical research done in the area of 4d polyforms. I assume that the ...
0
votes
0answers
120 views

Prime number distribution theory for dummies

For the distribution of prime numbers there is a hypothesis which predicts the possible positions of prime numbers called Riemann hypothesis ...
22
votes
1answer
757 views

A strange little number - $6174$.

Take a 4 digit number such that it isn't made out the same digit $(1111, 2222, .. . $ etc$)$ Define an operation on such a four digit number by taking the largest number that can be constructed out of ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Finding out a person's age in days given their birthday dd/mm/yyyy?

It has to be somebody alive today. Assume that the day is today - September 15, 2014. This is convenient because the leap years will be regular (once every for years; the weird rule applies to $1900$ ...
5
votes
1answer
433 views

Space-filling polyhedra (or honeycomb) survey?

Is there a survey anywhere of space-filling polyhedra? MathWorld's article, space-filling polyhedron, mentions about 400 being seen in pre-1981 books and papers. Wikipedia mentions 28 convex uniform ...
26
votes
6answers
12k views

What is the math behind the game Spot It?

I just purchased the game Spot It. As per this site, the structure of the game is as follows: Game has 55 round playing cards. Each card has eight randomly placed symbols. There are a total of 50 ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Geometrical question just for fun

Was puzzling with the following (home made) puzzle: Given the square $ABCD$ with $A = (1,1)$, $B = (1,-1)$, $C = (-1,-1)$ and $D = (-1,1)$ And given point $E = (0,2)$ What is the smallest (by ...
0
votes
1answer
136 views

Card game question

In a game where we have a normal 52 card deck. Two cards are delt out at a time, if both are red, then I keep the two cards. If both are black, you keep the two cards. If its one of each, then it gets ...
447
votes
138answers
28k views

What was the first bit of mathematics that made you realize that math is beautiful? (For children's book)

I'm a children's book writer and illustrator, and I want to to create a book for young readers that exposes the beauty of Mathematics. I recently read Paul Lockhart's essay "The Mathematician's ...
5
votes
2answers
129 views

$\pi$, $e$, $\phi$, and sunflowers

While reading some internet materials on design, I came across this picture and comment: I found it a little bit surprising. I knew that the real sunflower follows golden ratio in some way (but I ...
3
votes
0answers
44 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
89 views

3D Geometry Problem

If we have 4 equal sized spheres with radius $R$ arranged surrounding another smaller sphere such as to make a triangular pyramid from the centers of the $4$ spheres with radius $R$. The radius of ...
10
votes
1answer
942 views

Maximally touching toruses

7 identical cylinders can mutually touch each other, if sufficiently long. For cylinders of different sizes, 8 can touch each other. What is the maximal number of mutually touching toruses? I ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

Summing infinitely many numbers: how to assign a value?

If we take $S = 1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1+...$ we can show (in many different ways) that the result of the sum is $\frac{1}{2}$. One way for example would be to add $S$ to itself but shift it along one place, ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Is there a prime number ending with the natural number $n$

if $n$ not is divisible by 2 or 5? Example: given 813075843967837637675737563754361301, there is a prime 20813075843967837637675737563754361301 or given ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Integer solutions of an equation that is set to a number

How many integer solutions for $a$ and $b$ in $(ab)/(a+b)=3600$? My attempt: $(ab)/(a+b)=3600$ = $ab=3600(a+b)$ = $ab=3600a+3600b$ =$ab=3600a=3600b$ Dividing $3600b$ on both sides ...
1
vote
4answers
964 views

Find the four digit number?

Find a four digit number which is an exact square such that the first two digits are the same and also its last two digits are also the same.
19
votes
10answers
3k views

Get $5$ by doing any operations with four $7$s

How can one combine four sevens with elementary operations to get $5$? For example $$\dfrac{(7+7)\times7}{7}$$ (though that does not equal $5$). I am not able to do this. Can you solve it or prove ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

How are Sudoku puzzles created?

I recently read about the connection between solving Sudoku puzzles (and other graph coloring problems) and Groebner bases. This doesn't lead to an efficient solution technique, but it does link a ...
250
votes
7answers
7k views

“The Egg:” Bizarre behavior of the roots of a family of polynomials.

In this MO post, I ran into the following family of polynomials: $$f_n(x)=\sum_{m=0}^{n}\prod_{k=0}^{m-1}\frac{x^n-x^k}{x^m-x^k}.$$ In the context of the post, $x$ was a prime number, and $f_n(x)$ ...
2
votes
3answers
81 views

Fun proofs for layperson?

I'm not quite sure whether this question belongs here, because it has no definite answer. But I'll give it a shot. If any of the mods objects, then I will, of course, respectfully delete this ...
9
votes
5answers
347 views

A problem about symmetric relations on finite sets.

We have these assumptions: $X$ is a finite set. $\sim$ is an irreflexive symmetric relation on $X$. for any subset $Y\subseteq X$ we define $$\mathcal{Cl}(Y)=\{A\subseteq Y\mid(\forall a,b\in ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Mathematics of paper fold-cutting

Take a square of paper... ... and fold it any number of times using consecutive straight folds... ... then cut off any number of pieces using consecutive straight cuts... ... and unfold the ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

A simple Question. How much “faster” is A than B as a percentage figure?

A simple question If two people complete the same task, and Person A completes the task in 10 minutes, Person B in 8 minutes, what figures can/should be quoted in terms of how much quicker A is than ...
5
votes
2answers
71 views

Winning strategies in multidimensional tic-tac-toe

This question is a result of having too much free time years ago during military service. One of the many pastimes was playing tic-tac-toe in varying grid sizes and dimensions, and it lead me to a ...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

What is the flaw in this proof that all triangles are isosceles?

What is the flaw in this "proof" that all triangles are isosceles? From the linked page: One well-known illustration of the logical fallacies to which Euclid's methods are vulnerable (or at least ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Limiting behaviour of a system

A friend of mine offered me the following problem. Suppose we have a rabbit and a fox in $\Bbb R^2$. The rabbit starts at time $t=0$ at the point $(0,0)$ and runs with constant speed $(1,0)$. The fox ...
-2
votes
1answer
30 views

Equation that outputs digit in 1's 10's 100's slot [duplicate]

I need an equation that outputs the digit in the slot of my choosing EX1: I want the 10's slot in 1837 EX2: I want the 10's slot in 123456789 EX3: I want the 1000's slot in 93037352 I also need it ...
-2
votes
1answer
34 views

Challenge - “Highscore” output equation

I need an equation capable of processing 2 inputs to make one output that is either = to input 1 or 2. This is how it works. Since it is working with scores and such, Input1 will be "Last Score", and ...
-5
votes
1answer
95 views

Is it possible to make a 3dimensional parametric plot of this curve that looks lika a UFO?

The solution set of $$ y (x^2y+y^3-x^2-4y) = 1 $$ Looks like ** How would the parametric plot in 3d look like (in an appropriate intervall)?
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Form $4$ new symbols with the most common symbols

Suppose we have $6$ symbols, say $A,B,C,D,E,F$. We are asked to form $4$ new symbols using the $6$ symbols with the addition operation. For example, the $4$ new symbols can be $A+C+E, F+E+A, ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Folding sheets of paper

You have $n\in\mathbb{N}^*$ sheets of paper with dimensions $a,b\in\mathbb{R}_+^*$ that can be folded as many times as needed. What is the set of lengths in $\left]0,\sqrt{a^2+b^2}\right]$ one ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Reciprocal of 81 being the sequence of all natural numbers?

According to this document: http://www.answering-christianity.com/fakir60/81.htm describing the theory of scientist Peter Plichta, the reciprocal of 81 is: the ...
6
votes
0answers
90 views

Mathematics of the Ice Bucket Challenge

I've been considering the mathematics of the now global ice bucket challenge. Simple model In the simplest incarnation, there is one original seed, who then nominates 3 others, each of which take ...
0
votes
3answers
43 views

Completing the square for a quartic expression

By completing the square, find (for real $x$) the minimum value of: $$x^4 + 2x^2 + 2.$$