Slicing Pizzas, Racing Turtles, and Further Adventures in by Robert B. Banks

By Robert B. Banks

Have you daydreamed approximately digging a gap to the opposite part of the area? Robert Banks not just entertains such principles yet, greater but, he provides the mathematical knowledge to show fantasies into problem-solving adventures. during this sequel to the preferred Towing Icebergs, Falling Dominoes (Princeton, 1998), Banks provides one other selection of puzzles for readers attracted to polishing their pondering and mathematical talents. the issues variety from the wondrous to the eminently sensible. in a single bankruptcy, the writer is helping us ascertain the complete variety of those that have lived in the world; in one other, he exhibits how an knowing of mathematical curves will help a thrifty lover, armed with building paper and scissors, continue charges down on Valentine's Day.

In twenty-six chapters, Banks chooses subject matters which are really effortless to research utilizing really basic arithmetic. The phenomena he describes are ones that we come across in our day-by-day lives or can visualize with no a lot difficulty. for instance, how do you get the main pizza slices with the least variety of cuts? to move from aspect A to indicate B in a downpour of rain, for those who stroll slowly, jog reasonably, or run as quick as attainable to get least rainy? what's the size of the seam on a baseball? If the entire ice on this planet melted, what could take place to Florida, the Mississippi River, and Niagara Falls? Why do snowflakes have six sides?

Covering a huge variety of fields, from geography and environmental experiences to map- and flag-making, Banks makes use of simple algebra and geometry to unravel difficulties. If well-known scientists have additionally contemplated those questions, the writer stocks the historic information with the reader. Designed to entertain and to stimulate considering, this booklet could be learn for sheer own amusement.

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Additional resources for Slicing Pizzas, Racing Turtles, and Further Adventures in Applied Mathematics

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We distinguish two cases: P = Q and P = Q. Consider the first case: P = Q. Suppose that l and m meet at R. 22, d(P, R)2 + d(P, Q)2 = d(Q, R)2 and d(Q, R)2 + d(Q, P )2 = d(P, R)2 . This implies that 2d(P, Q)2 = 0 and therefore P = Q, which contradicts the fact that P = Q. The assumption that l and m intersect each other is therefore incorrect. We conclude that l // m. Now consider the second case: P = Q. Let S be another point on n and let n⊥ be the perpendicular on n at S. By what we have just proved, l // n⊥ and m // n⊥ .

A) l // m if and only if a1 b2 − a2 b1 = 0. (b) l ⊥ m if and only if a1 b1 + a2 b2 = 0. 39. If x, y = x y and x = o = y, then x + y = x + y and x and y lie on the line segment [o (x + y)]. 2 TRANSFORMATIONS Much of this chapter concerns isometries of the plane V ; these are surjective, distancepreserving maps from V to V . Why are isometries so important? Many of the concepts developed in the previous chapter were defined using metrics and general settheoretic properties. Because of this, these concepts are invariant under isometric surjections; if a figure has such a property, so does its image under an isometric surjection.

For example, a + b = b + a for every a and b. Indeed, a + b = (a1 , a2 ) + (b1 , b2 ) = (a1 + b1 , a2 + b2 ) = (b1 + a1 , b2 + a2 ) = b + a . Other rules are that for any a, b, and c we have (a + b) + c = a + (b + c) , a+o = a. We also see that for any λ in R and any a in R2 , λa = λ2 a21 + λ2 a22 = |λ| a . Later on in this section, we will consider the geometric interpretation of these algebraic operations. For vectors p and q, let ρ(p, q) = q − p . For example, for p = √ (3, 1) and q = (−2, 3) we have q − p = (−5, 2) and ρ(p, q) = q − p = 29.

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