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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Tower of Hanoi: Where's the Math in this Game?

The Tower of Hanoi..... one of the puzzles for tomorrows booth. I'm really interested about this puzzle, and it hit my attention when Mr K. told us about the monks solving the tower with 64 discs and the end of the world.. I did some research and here's what I found....

The Tower of Hanoi (sometimes referred to as the Tower of Brahma or the End of the World Puzzle) was invented by the French mathematician, Edouard Lucas, in 1883.

The number of separate transfers of single disks the priests must make to transfer the tower is 2 to the 64th minus 1, or 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 moves! If the priests worked day and night, making one move every second it would take slightly more than 580 billion years to accomplish the job!

I also found some neat site about the tower.. and it has a mathematical solution for solving the puzzle and they even derived some general formula for solving it. Where's the Math in this Game? Click this link to check it out. http://www.cut-the-knot.com/recurrence/hanoi.shtml

Now, I see the point. .IT is really the end of our world when the puzzle is solved or maybe.. the world has ended million years ago before they finsihed it. With no disrespect to Edouard Lucas, but we should change the puzzle from the Tower of Hanoi to the Tower of Annoy .. because it is really annoying.... (^_^) hehehe!


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