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Marbles Bonanza (Posted on 2003-09-08) Difficulty: 4 of 5
You have an empty container, and an infinite number of marbles, each numbered with an integer from 1 to infinity.

At the start of the minute, you put marbles 1 - 10 into the container, then remove one of the marbles and throw it away. You do this again after 30 seconds, then again in 15 seconds, and again in 7.5 seconds. You continuosly repeat this process, each time after half as long an interval as the time before, until the minute is over.

Since this means that you repeated the process an infinite number of times, you have "processed" all your marbles.

How many marbles are in the container at the end of the minute if for every repetition (numbered N)

A. You remove the marble numbered (10 * N)

B. You remove the marble numbered (N)

See The Solution Submitted by levik    
Rating: 3.6154 (13 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
re(3): Respectfully, I disagree with all (save perhaps eric) | Comment 15 of 83 |
(In reply to re(2): Respectfully, I disagree with all (save perhaps eric) by FatBoy)

FatBoy,

I will cede one of your points... your analogy of writing it down (perhaps the first digit at 30 seconds, the second digit at 45 seconds, the third digit at 52.5 seconds, ad infinitum) is a more apt analogy.

That being said, and assuming that each digit was roughly the same size, and that I had an inifinite-sized piece of paper, and an infinite amount of ink, I would have an INFINITE number of digits at the end of the minute.

I *still* don't follow why you write "the moment you stopped writing numbers you defined the number of those digits and made it finite". That is a non sequitur.

You also wrote "You have coutned all the marbles you put in the jar, therfore they are no longer infinite. You have defined it (made it finite)." Again, another non sequitur.
  Posted by SilverKnight on 2003-09-09 12:07:40

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