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 The Bun Problem (Posted on 2004-05-07)
Here is a good shape problem I heard about recently:

There are 3 buns with sprinkles on the top that 4 people want to share. The buns have a radius of 3 inches, 4 inches and 5 inches, and although the people know where the center of each bun is, they don't know anything else about the buns, and all they have is a knife to divide the buns.

What is the fewest number of pieces required to let each person have the same area of bun? (Note that each cut must be from top to bottom; horizontal cuts would result in uneven sprinkle distribution. The cuts don't need to be straight.)

 See The Solution Submitted by Gamer Rating: 2.0000 (5 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
 The Problem with Sprinkling Spheres | Comment 17 of 26 |
I like Larry's r^3 solution except for one problem:

The smaller buns will have relatively more sprinkles because of their higher surface area to volume ratio.

If we are not allowed uneven sprinkle distribution, everyone would either need a quarter of each bun (12 pieces) or the people with smaller bun pieces would need some large bun interior (too complicated for now but probably fewer pieces)

-Jer

 Posted by Jer on 2004-05-10 10:24:45

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