samedi 8 juillet 2017

run-of-the-mill math non-trick but possibly complicated question!?

No trick here, I am just not completely sure how to solve this. (I could have likely solved this 25 years ago. But now, not so much.*)

I'm going to use metric and nice round numbers so everyone has an easier time understanding the answers.

Two cars travel a perfectly straight road from Chicago, USA to Cairo, Egypt. (It's the future.) The road is exactly 10 meters wide. The road is exactly 10,000 km long. (Yes that 10,000 km accounts for the curvature of the Earth. :D **)

Car A travels a perfectly straight line down the center of the road the entire way. Car A therefore travels exactly 10,000 km.

Car B starts out on the side of the road (doesn't matter which side, but still technically on the road). The driver of Car B drifts from one side of the road to the other, every 1 km, the entire way. (The driver of Car B has possibly been drinking.)

How far exactly has Car B traveled?

Important: I know that it does not matter how fast Car A is going. But I'm only pretty sure that it does not matter how fast Car B is going. Therefore I did not add speed information to the problem to keep things simple. If the speed Car B is going does change the total distance of its path then add the speed of 100km/h to the problem. Though, again, I'm pretty sure it does not.

I have no idea what the correct answer is, so no one wins anything here except a waste of time. (Though if someone includes a drawing that they did of Car B's path in their answer they do win being awesome.)

* I know that I would currently have a good chance of arriving at the correct answer if the path of Car B's drifting was straight lines. (Like a zig-zag.) But, no, I'm pretty sure it would be a curve/wave.

**(And I'm pretty sure I'm wrong on this but I have a feeling that for a technically correct answer one might have to account for the curvature of the Earth for Car B. That seems like going a bit overboard so if one wants to answer the question ignoring the curvature of the Earth, please do. :))

via International Skeptics Forum

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