By Martin Gardner

Martin Gardner starts Riddles with questions on splitting up polygons into prescribed shapes and he ends this e-book with a suggestion of a prize of $100 for the 1st individual to ship him a three x# magic sq. which includes consecutive primes. simply Gardner might healthy such a lot of diversified and tantalizing difficulties into one e-book.

This fabric used to be drawn from Gardner's column in Issac Asimov's technology Fiction journal. His riddles offered right here comprise the responses of his preliminary readers, besides additions advised via the editors of this sequence. during this ebook, Gardner attracts us from inquiries to solutions, regularly providing us with new riddles- a few as but unanswered. fixing those riddles isn't easily an issue of common sense and calculation, even though those play a task. success and idea are elements as well., so rookies and specialists alike might profiably workout their wits on Gardner's difficulties, whose topics variety from geometry to observe play to questions when it comes to physics and geology.

We make sure that you are going to clear up a few of these riddles, be stumped through others, and be amused by way of just about all of the tales and settings that Gardner has devised to elevate those questions.

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**Riddles of the sphinx, and other mathematical puzzle tales**

Martin Gardner starts Riddles with questions about splitting up polygons into prescribed shapes and he ends this publication with a suggestion of a prize of $100 for the 1st individual to ship him a three x# magic sq. such as consecutive primes. in simple terms Gardner may perhaps healthy such a lot of assorted and tantalizing difficulties into one e-book.

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**Example text**

For example, the polynomial equation x 3 Ϫ 3x 2 ϩ 2x ϭ 0 may be rewritten in the form x(x2 Ϫ 3x ϩ 2) ϭ 0 or x(x Ϫ 1)(x Ϫ 2) ϭ 0 Since the product of two real numbers can be equal to zero if and only if one (or both) of the factors is equal to zero, we have xϭ0 xϪ1ϭ0 or xϪ2ϭ0 from which we see that the desired roots are x ϭ 0, 1, and 2. The Quadratic Formula In general, the problem of finding the roots of a polynomial equation is a difficult one. But the roots of a quadratic equation (a polynomial equation of degree 2) are easily found either by factoring or by using the following quadratic formula.

Thus, 0 x 0 Յ 5 means Ϫ5 Յ x Յ 5 (Figure 5a). To obtain an alternative solution, observe that 0 x 0 is the distance from the point x to zero, so the inequality 0 x 0 Յ 5 implies immediately that Ϫ5 Յ x Յ 5. Solution x FIGURE 5 –5 (a) x 5 0 –5 (b) 0 5 Next, the inequality 0 x 0 Ն 5 states that the distance from x to zero is greater than or equal to 5. This observation yields the result x Ն 5 or x Յ Ϫ5 (Figure 5b). EXAMPLE 14 Solve the inequality 0 2x Ϫ 3 0 Յ 1. Solution The inequality 0 2x Ϫ 3 0 Յ 1 is equivalent to the inequalities Ϫ1 Յ 2x Ϫ 3 Յ 1 (see Example 13).

MEETING PROFIT GOALS A manufacturer of a certain commodity has estimated that her profit in thousands of dollars is given by the expression Ϫ6x2 ϩ 30x Ϫ 10 where x (in thousands) is the number of units produced. What production range will enable the manufacturer to realize a profit of at least $14,000 on the commodity? 90. 08 mg/cc. 91. COST OF REMOVING TOXIC POLLUTANTS A city’s main well was recently found to be contaminated with trichloroethylene (a cancer-causing chemical) as a result of an abandoned chemical dump that leached chemicals into the water.