The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Front Page -

A SE­RIES OF MATHS-BASED PUZ­ZLES BY DAVID WELLS Bam­boo­zled? This puz­zle is a fol­lowup to last week’s brain-teaser con­cern­ing righ­tan­gled tri­an­gles. Last Sun­day’s Chi­nese puz­zle dated from a few cen­turies BC; this In­dian puz­zle comes from the sixth cen­tury AD. Brah­magupta was a math­e­ma­ti­cian and as­tronomer who lived in western In­dia at a time that is re­garded as the clas­si­cal age of In­dian maths and as­tron­omy. In or­der to solve his puz­zle, you will need a lit­tle bit of al­ge­bra. If you would like a help­ing hand with that, the equa­tion you need is shown up­side down at the foot of this col­umn. The an­swer is not a whole num­ber. Here is the puz­zle: There is a bam­boo 10 feet high, the up­per end of which is then bro­ken down. On reach­ing the ground, the tip is just 3 feet from the stem. What is the height of the break? An­swer at the end of Puz­zles. David Wells’s lat­est book is Games and Math­e­mat­ics: Sub­tle Con­nec­tions (Cam­bridge UP £15.99)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.