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 Partitioning Space (Posted on 2004-09-13)
From Pizza Cut, we know the formula for maximum partitioning (pieces) of the circle, given n straight lines (cuts).
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1. Determine the maximum number of regions of the plane produced by n intersecting circles.

2. Determine the maximum number of regions of the plane produced by n intersecting ellipses.

3. Determine the maximum number of regions of space produced by n intersecting spheres.

 No Solution Yet Submitted by SilverKnight Rating: 4.5000 (4 votes)

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 Some ideas... | Comment 4 of 13 |
First of all, although nikki's formulae may be correct, it falls short of a proof. Here are some ideas I am flirting with:
• For Part 1, it turns out that the answer is the same for n circles and for (n-1) circles and one line. The reason for this is that one may take any configuration with n circles, pick a non-intersection point on one of the circles, and perform geometric inversion about that point. It *may* be possible to perform some kind of induction by reasoning about the addition of a line to an existing configuration.
• The same is true (I think) for Part 2. To see this, take a configuration with n ellipses, and perform an affine transformation so that one of the ellipses maps to a circle. Then perform the inversion as before so that this circle maps to a line. The only question is whether the inversion maps ellipses to ellipses, which I don't have time to think about right now...
• The same applies to Part 3, but with (n-1) spheres and one plane.

 Posted by David Shin on 2004-09-14 08:52:02

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