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Topic: Alien IQ Test
Replies: 12   Last Post: Jun 7, 2000 2:33 PM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Ted Alper Posts: 118 Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Alien IQ Test
Posted: Jun 6, 2000 1:37 AM

The problem doesn't say what it means to crack
the bone "at random", but if we assume this means
the break is made from a uniform distribution along the
length of the bone, then I think the answer is that
the average ratio is infinite.

we can assume the bone is of length 1
and we can use symmetry to reduce the problem to a break chosen
uniformly on (0,1/2) (it doesn't matter whether the longer piece
is on the right or the left)

then if x is that point in the interval (0,1/2) where the
break occurs, the ratio of the longer side to the shorter side is:
(1-x)/x

so the AVERAGE value of this ratio is...
the integral (1-x)/x dx from 0 to 1/2.

but this integral plainly diverges (heck, (1-x)/x will be greater
than 0.5/x and the integral of THAT diverges...

So if you believe the uniform distribution is what is meant by cracking
the bone "at random", then the answer is that the average ratio
of the lengths is infinite, in the sense that as you do the experiment
repeatedly, you'd expect the average ratio to grow without bound.

Ted Alper

Date Subject Author
6/5/00 Terry Trotter
6/5/00 Gary Tupper
6/5/00 Mullen@act.org
6/5/00 Guy Brandenburg
6/5/00 Ed Wall
6/5/00 Guy Brandenburg
6/5/00 Anne Wilson
6/5/00 Guy Brandenburg
6/6/00 Ed Wall
6/6/00 Ted Alper
6/6/00 me@talmanl1.mscd.edu
6/6/00 Rex Boggs
6/7/00 Bonnie