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33
votes
14answers
26k 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 ...
53
votes
9answers
5k views

Geometric proof of the Vandermonde determinant?

The Vandermonde matrix is the $n\times n$ matrix whose $(i,j)$-th component is $x_j^{i-1}$, where the $x_j$ are indeterminates. It is well known that the determinant of this matrix is $$\prod_{1\leq ...
33
votes
1answer
2k views

Probability that a stick randomly broken in five places can form a tetrahedron

The following problem was brought to my attention by a doctoral dissertation on Mathematics Education, but - as far as I know - the solution remains unknown. I have already asked this question on ...
9
votes
1answer
281 views

Can Tarski decide constructibility in elementary geometry?

Can the decision routine for Tarski's Elementary geometry be extended to decide when an existence claim in that theory can be instantiated by a compass and straightedge construction? The answer does ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

Tools for Removing Radicals from Equations

I am currently doing some investigations on Sylvester's 4 Point Problem Probability of 4 Points being in Convex Configuration and repeatedly face the problem of solving equations between sums of ...
25
votes
3answers
938 views

About the ratio of the areas of a convex pentagon and the inner pentagon made by the five diagonals

Question : Letting $S{^\prime}$ be the area of the inner pentagon made by the five diagonals of a convex pentagon whose area is $S$, then find the max of $\frac{S^\prime}{S}$. ...
14
votes
2answers
913 views

Why do all incidence theorems follow from Pappus' theorem?

In Hilbert and Cohn-Vossen's ``Geometry and the Imagination," they state in the last paragraph of Chapter 20 that "Any theorems concerned solely with incidence relations in the [Euclidean ...
17
votes
9answers
4k views

Open problems in Euclidean geometry ?

Which are some (research level) open problems in Euclidean geometry ? (Edit: I ask just out of curiosity, to understand how -and if- nowadays this is not a "dead" field yet) I should clarify a ...
12
votes
5answers
861 views

Definition of area

I am looking for an attractive, but rigorous definition of area; say in Euclidean plane. Probably there is no short definition. It is OK to make it even longer, but can it be built from useful parts ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

The Ramanujan Problems.

I originally thought of asking this question at the Mathematics Stackexchange, but then I decided that I'd have a better chance of a good discussion here. In the Wikipedia page on Ramanujan, there is ...
8
votes
3answers
607 views

On maximal regular polyhedra inscribed in a regular polyhedron

Let T, C, O, D, or I be regular tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron, respectively. Suppose that the outer polyhedron have edge-length 1. For example, it's easy to prove that ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Can Morley's theorem be generalized?

Morley's theorem states that in any triangle, the three points of intersection of the adjacent angle trisectors form an equilateral triangle. In a talk some years ago, David Rusin made the ...
11
votes
1answer
781 views

What is the limit of the “knight” distance on finer and finer chessboards?

Consider the "infinite chessboard" on the plane. Think of it as the lattice $X_1:=\mathbb{Z}^2$, and also finer chessboards $X_n$ corresponding to $\frac{1}{n}\cdot \mathbb{Z}^2$, $n\geq 1$. Given two ...
10
votes
3answers
717 views

Efficient visibility blockers in Polya's orchard problem

Polya's orchard problem asks for which radius $\rho$ of trees at each lattice point within a distance $R$ of the origin block all lines of sight to the exterior of the orchard. ...
6
votes
1answer
612 views

Quadrature of the Lune

What is a good reference for the following result which I believe is proved by Tchebotarev. There are exactly 5 types of Lunes that are squarable. (Hippocrates produced three and then two more were ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Angle of a regular simplex

I find the following question embarrassing, but I have not been able to either resolve it, or to find a reference. What is the vertex angle of a regular $n$-simplex? Background: For a vertex $v$ ...
5
votes
3answers
973 views

Finding an invisible circle by drawing another line

A friend of mine taught me the following question. He said he found it on a book a few years ago. Though I've tried to solve it, I'm facing difficulty. Question: You know on a plane there is an ...
2
votes
0answers
139 views

Probability of 4 Points being in Convex Configuration

Background of my question is, that I would like to implement a parallel preprocessing for a constructing the convex hull of very huge number of points in the euclidean plane; the idea is to process ...