Fun with Fundamentals: Problem 209

Aug. 1, 2000
The whole can be the sum of too many parts, as this month’s problem by Bruno Fria of Denver demonstrates

Micro management

Problem 208 — The whole can be the sum of too many parts, as this month’s problem by Bruno Fria of Denver demonstrates.

High in a corner office of the Peenpoynt Micro Robotics Laboratory, an after- hours meeting was underway.

“Precision is what counts here!” stated Dr. Peenpoynt, Ph.D, D.D., D.D.S., M.D., “and we’re way behind deadline! Our latest etching tool features a stainless steel sphere inside a cylinder with a pointed top. Due to my staff not having my expertise and experience, I’ve worked out the dimensions in inches as follows (See sketch.). I’ve gone ahead and ordered stainless steel balls with 0.400-in. diameters.”

Compute the largest-diameter sphere that can fit inside the pointed cone. Will Peenpoynt have to recalculate and reorder?

Technical consultant, Jack Couillard, Menasha, Wis.

Solution to last month’s problem 207—

You know the state of affairs if you answered:

MI = Michigan NJ = New Jersey
MD = Maryland NE = Nebraska
MA = Massachusetts ND = North Dakota
MS = Mississippi NC = North Carolina
MT = Montana NH = New Hampshire
MO = Missouri NY = New York
NM = New Mexico NM = New Mexico
ME = Maine NV = Nevada

Fred and Wilbur gave up looking for Ida Stone and Jed Chymv.

Congratulations to Bill Wesch who won our June contest by having name drawn from 33 correct responses from a total of 78 contestants. A pack of Nerd Kards is in the mail to him.

Nerd Kards, which are the same size as baseball cards, describe the great scientists and mathematicians from ancient times down through the twentieth century. Each of the 100 Kards contains a photo or drawing of the individual and a description of his career and achievements. Many are Nobel Prize winners.

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