Pages in a Book
Date: 09/13/2001 at 14:12:08 From: Patricia Anne Subject: Unsure A book is made of folded sheets of paper, each comprising four pages. One of the sheets has page numbers 88 and 169. 1. How many pages are there in the book? 2. What is the sum of all of the page numbers in the book? 3. A book has 600 pages. What is the sum of all of the page numbers in the book? Thank you for you help.
Date: 09/13/2001 at 15:21:09 From: Doctor Ian Subject: Re: Unsure Hi Patricia, Let's start by looking at some very small books. Suppose the book has only one sheet of paper. We might indicate it this way: (1,2) | (3,4) The '|' is the center of the book, and '(a,b)' indicates a pair of page numbers. The next smallest book would have 8 pages: (1,2) (3,4) | (5,6) (7,8) The next smallest, 12 pages: (1,2) (3,4) (5,6) | (7,8) (9,10) (11,12) And so on. Now, here is a curious thing. Suppose the pages are labeled 1 to N. If we pair up pages, starting from the ends, and add each pair, what happens? _____ / ___ \ / / \ \ (1,2) | (3,4) each pair (1+4, 2+3) adds up to 5. _____________ / ___________ \ / / _____ \ \ / / / ___ \ \ \ / / / / \ \ \ \ (1,2) (3,4) | (5,6) (7,8) each pair adds up to 9. You have a sheet of paper that looks like this: ________________ / ___________ \ / / \ \ (87,88) (169,170) Do you see how you can use this collection of page numbers to deduce the number of pages in the book? Note that I can quickly add up the page numbers in a book by adding the page numbers on any sheet, and multiplying by the number of sheets. Do you see why this is true? In each of the little books we constructed, if you add up any of the paired page numbers, you get the number of pages in the book, plus 1. Since those books are constructed in the same way as yours, the same trick will work for your book. That is, 87 + 170 = 88 + 169 = the number of pages in the book + 1 Now, note that if the book has N pages, then it has N/4 sheets of paper. And each of those sheets of paper will contain two sets of pages, where each set adds up to the N+1. So the sum of the page numbers must be sum of page numbers = number of sheets * 2 * (N+1) = (N/4) * 2 * (N+1) This problem is supposed to be a 'practical' application of a certain trick, which is useful for adding up the first N integers. Note that we can write the sum of N integers this way: 1 + 2 + ... + (N-1) + N = ? Since order is irrelevant in addition, we can also write it this way: N + (N-1) + ... + 2 + 1 = ? Now, if we add corresponding elements of these sequences, we get 1 + 2 + ... + (N-1) + N = ? N + (N-1) + ... + 2 + 1 = ? --- ----- --- --- --- N+1 N+1 N+1 N+1 2*? \___________________________/ N times So the sum must be half of 2*?, or N*(N+1) ? = ------- 2 Now, the pages in a book make up this kind of sequence. Furthermore, if the book is made by folding pages, as in this problem, the pages that appear on a single sheet correspond to pairs in the bottom sequence above. That is, page 1 is paired with page N page 2 is paired with page N-1 page 3 is paired with page N-2 and so on. So if you know that page 88 is paired with page 169, that is the same as pairing 87 with 170, 86 with 171, ..., all the way down to pairing 1 with 256. Which means that the final page must be page 256. And you can use the formula above to add up the pages. - Doctor Ian, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.