IBM Research | Ponder This | July 2005 solutions
Skip to main content

July 2005

<<June July August>>


Start with the n "small" coins in the rectangle. Replace each one with a "big" coin of twice the radius, at the same center.

Claim that these completely cover the rectangle; otherwise, a point not covered could serve as the center of a new "small" coin that would not have overlapped with any of the original "small" coins. Now since n "big" coins cover a rectangle of dimension L by W, then n "small" coins will cover a rectangle of dimension L/2 by W/2 (just shrink the whole picture), and four copies of that -- 4n "small" coins -- will cover the original L by W rectangle.

If you have any problems you think we might enjoy, please send them in. All replies should be sent to: