Download Ancient Puzzles: Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless by Dominic Olivastro PDF

By Dominic Olivastro

ISBN-10: 0553372971

ISBN-13: 9780553372977

Match wits with the nice minds of the world’s maximum civilizations during this attention-grabbing number of historical conundrums, brainteasers, and mind-benders.
• What do prehistoric bone markings and smooth desktop technology have in common?
• What is the secret of pi that stumped generations of historical mathematicians?
• What are the traditional puzzle origins of well known video games similar to tic-tac-toe and chess?
• Can you remedy the puzzles posed to emperor Charlemagne by means of Alcuin of York?
• What’s the key lore in the back of magic squares that captured the mind's eye of chinese language emperors, Persian mystics, and Benjamin Franklin?
Dominic Olivastro offers a well-liked heritage of arithmetic via targeting the puzzles that civilizations posed for his or her personal schooling and leisure. listed below are vintage “puzzle difficulties” from historic Africa, Egypt, Persia, China, and Greece and from cultures and texts spanning the center a long time and the Renaissance all of the strategy to the present.
every one puzzle is associated with insightful people and medical background that is helping make clear the mysterious objective and foundation of the matter. attention-grabbing clues for realizing solutions draw on sleek problem-solving concepts and result in historical secrets and techniques that, prior to now, have infrequently been understood. no matter if you decipher them for his or her ancient importance, classical knowledge, or simply for the sheer, maddening enjoyable of it, those pleasant puzzles supply a different, wonderful, and enlightening consultant to the evolution of the human brain.

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Extra info for Ancient Puzzles: Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless Mathematical Games of the Last Ten Centuries

Example text

As many times as 8 must be multiplied to give 19, so many times 7 must be multiplied to give the required number. The text then finds that 7 X 19/s = 165/8, which is the heap or the final solution. What Ahmes has done is assume that the heap, or unknown quantity, is equal to 7, apparently because this will allow him to find the 1/7th part very easily. He quickly discovers, however, that 7 is incorrect, since 7 + (1/7-7) is only equal to 8, not 19 as called for in the problem. ) This is why in the last sentence he multiplies 7 by 19/8, and arrives at the correct answer.

Finally, even the notches are open to some interpretation. If you look closely at the illustration, you will see that it is a little arbitrary to lump some of them together. The first stretch of 19 notches is made up of two quite distinct groups, one with 5 little notches, and one of 14 larger ones. Taking all this into account, there is far too much room for hedging, allowing us to prove almost any hypothesis. Nevertheless, Marshack has done a fairly credible job. We assume that Ishango Man held the bone in his left hand with the quartz end pointing to the right.

Thousands of computer hours have been spent trying to find a contradicting example, but to no avail. It seems that the answer is yes, but no one knows for sure. HOW TO SAVE A CAMEL'S LIFE As a puzzle endures and travels across continents, it sometimes loses its original sensibilities. Often, new light can be thrown on a puzzle if we engage in a kind of back-formation, creating a resonable history for it. This can be done with the well-known puzzle of an Arabian merchant who willed that 17 camels were to be divided among his three sons in the proportions 1/2, 1/3, and 1/9, One poor animal had to be drawn and quartered!

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