Apr. 2011
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Handout
Weighing with a Balance
A large container is known to hold 24 oz of nails.
The hardware store has a balance, but no weights.
Can you measure out 9 oz of nails for a customer?
A chemist has a balance and fixed weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8 grams.
Show that she can weigh any amount of material from 1 to 15 grams
by placing the weights on one side and the material on the other.
What is the best set of four fixed weights in the sense of maximizing
the range of measurable weights in increments of 1 gram?
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Handout
Find the Lighter Counterfeit Coin
We have three coins. Two are normal coins; one is a counterfeit coin
that
weighs less. Identify the counterfeit coin with one weighing on a balance.
We have nine coins; eight normal coins
and a counterfeit coin that weighs less.
Identify the counterfeit with 2 weighings.
Generalize:
How many weighing with a balance are needed to find a light
counterfeit coin among
n
coins?
How should we change the procedures above if the counterfeit coin is
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 Fall '08
 CHEN
 Mass, counterfeit coin

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