The 97 rational numbers 49/1, 49/2, 49/3, ..., 49/97 are written on a blackboard.
Two of the above numbers X and Y are chosen and replaced by X*Y-X-Y+1.
The procedure is repeated until a single number Z(say) remains on the board.
Determine the possible values of Z.
(In reply to cardinality of solution set
The sequence is Sloane's A001147, Double factorial of odd numbers:
a(n) is the number of distinct products of n+1 variables with commutative, nonassociative multiplication. - Andrew Walters (awalters3(AT)yahoo.com), Jan 17 2004. For example, a(3)=15 because the product of the four variables w, x, y and z can be constructed in exactly 15 ways, assuming commutativity but not associativity: 1. w(x(yz)) 2. w(y(xz)) 3. w(z(xy)) 4. x(w(yz)) 5. x(y(wz)) 6. x(z(wy)) 7. y(w(xz)) 8. y(x(wz)) 9. y(z(wx)) 10. z(w(xy)) 11. z(x(wy)) 12. z(y(wx)) 13. (wx)(yz) 14. (wy)(xz) 15. (wz)(xy).
Posted by Charlie
on 2016-03-21 10:14:55