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Solution to the "Missing Square Problem"


Solution of the Missing Square Problem Jason D. Hav e y ou ev er seen this "puzzle" floating around before?

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This problem appears to make no sense what so ev ertwo triangles of apparently equal dimensions, consisting of smaller segments, appear to cov er less area when rearranged differently ...where did the missing
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Solu t ion t o t h e "Missin g Squ a r e Pr oblem " Fu n n y Ou t -Of-Office E-Ma il A u t oReply s Office 2 0 1 0 : T h e Mov ie Ju n e (4 ) Ma y (5 )

block go? Go ahead and try it for y ourself (I used cut outs from graph paper as a starting point). Then come back and see if y our solution agrees with mine! The solution: First, lets ex amine the larger rectangles. Each cov ers and area of (1 3 * 5)/2, or 32.5 square units. The areas of the indiv idual segements: Blue: (2*5)/2 = 5 square units Green: 8 square units Y ellow: 7 square units Red: (3*8)/2 = 1 2 square units. The sum? 32 square units. *GASP* neither triangle corresponds to the sum area of the segments. In the top triangle, the area subtract the area of the y ellow and green segments giv es us 1 7 .5 square units. In the bottom triangle, this identical calculation y ields 1 6.5 square units. The different of course being *drum roll* one square unit. But WAIT! There's more. The ratio of the full triangle is 1 3:5, the blue 5:2 and the red 8:3. These are NOT equiv alent ratios. We can look to our good friend Py thagoras: Giv en the hy potenuse of each triangle is the square root of the sum of the other two sides squared, the hy potenuse of each triangle is:

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JA Y

I'm a fr ien dly , lov a ble, g oofy g eek w h o lik es r ock m u sic, com pu t er scien ce, scien ce fict ion /fa n t a sy , g ood con v er sa t ion a n d t o h elp people w h en ev er I ca n . V iew m y com plet e pr ofile

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the other two sides squared, the hy potenuse of each triangle is: Full Triangle: 1 94 Red: 7 3 Blue: 29 If this triangle is all that it seems, the hy potenuse of the red and blue triangle would equal that of the full triangle. 7 3 = 8.5440037 4531 7 531 1 67 87 1 6483262397 + 29 = 5.3851 64807 1 34504031 2507 1 0491 5403 = 1 3.9291 685524520351 991 2235881 7 7 8 1 94 = 1 3.92838827 7 1 841 1 9338467 7 3892851 3 So close! But the factor is in fact off by .0007 8027 5267 91 586065461 98892667 4228 Lets look closely at the slopes. Full Triangle : 5/1 3 = 0.38461 538461 538461 538461 538461 538 Red Triangle : 3/8 = 0.37 5 Blue Triangle: 2/5 = 0.4 If this were what it looked like, then all the slopes would be equal. Howev er, The blue triangle is steeper then the red, which is not as steep as the full triangle. This means that the hy potenuse formed by the two smaller triangles is not straight, and thus slopes in on one triangle and slopes out on the other. The hy potenuses hav e different slopes, as the angles are different. For n >= 5, this discrepancy is basically unnoticeable. But for n=4, n=3, y ou can see it quite clearly .

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From a different perspectiv e:

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Still not conv inced?

Pretty nifty . But wait just a darn tootin' minutelook at those numbers 1 , 1 , 2, 3, 5, 8, 1 3 Look familiar? So if y oure still wondering where the missing block went, Fibonacci ate it.
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The End.
Poste d by Jay at 1:38 PM Labe ls: cool , illusion , inte rne t , m ath , puzzle , solutions

3 comments:
Sm okeStacked Oct 4, 201 1 09:27 AM Thanks, y ou did a fan-freakin tastic job of ex plaining it. Reply

quoroy Mar 22, 201 2 08:56 AM v ery interesting! i had been searching for the answer to this problem for a long time now thanks! Reply

elikz Mar 24, 201 2 1 2:46 PM fibonacci ate it x D ... nice conclussion to the problem... nice ex planation Reply

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