I have an unmarked ruler (AD) of length 6cm. Making two marks in it, one (B) at 1cm from the left end and other (C) at 2cm from the right end, I´m able to measure any integer length from 1 to 6 cm:
A B C D
AB = 1cm / CD = 2cm / BC = 3cm / AC = 4cm / BD = 5cm / AD = 6cm.
If I have an unmarked ruler of length 14cm, what is the minimum number of marks, and where do I have to make them, in order to be able to measure any integer length from 1 to 14cm?
Marking 1 3 6 and 10 allows repesentation of all distances,
Theoretically 6 marks could cover 15 distances ==> C(6,2)=15.
However not all the pairs define different distances,
D(0,3)= D(3,6) and D(6.10) =D(10,14) so we are left with partial coverage only, (15-2=13) ==>12 is missing.
REM1 : My 4 marks are triangular numbers, but for the ruler
of 15 cm (next triangular number) the situation does not improve
REM2 : The fact that there is no possible 4tuple of different numbers between 1 and 13 inclusive can be be easily proven by checking exhaustively all possible combinations