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5
votes
2answers
424 views

Historical question re: ellipses obtained by certain geometrical constructions

I am a faculty member in the Forensic Science Program at PennState (UP). I am trying to obtain information of a historical nature concerning two closely related topics. I seek historical references ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

spiral of Theodorus

A long time ago when I was in college I read about making a spiral out of right triangles with sides 1 and $\sqrt{N}$. (A google search seems to indicate that this is called the Spiral of Theodorus.) ...
2
votes
1answer
935 views

How to find the Fermat Point using the construction of the tangent to ellipse?

Be done the triangle ABC, it is known the method to finding the point Q that minimises the sum QA+QB+QC among all points Q in the plane (The Fermat point). I want a hint for solving this problem using ...
36
votes
14answers
34k views

If you break a stick at two points chosen uniformly, the probability the three resulting sticks form a triangle is 1/4. Is there a nice proof of this?

There is a standard problem in elementary probability that goes as follows. Consider a stick of length 1. Pick two points uniformly at random on the stick, and break the stick at those points. What ...