Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Inane Conundrum

I was going, not to St Ives, but to Port Elizabeth (from Grahamstown) this morning. I saw a road sign that said it was 100km to PE. For some reason I caught sight of my speedometer and saw I was doing 120km. No hang on, that's the distance to PE, not the speed limit. Imagine if when we travelled and the distance was 100km we had to travel at 100km/h - and always do the same speed as the distance. So that by the time we were 5km from PE we would have to do 5km/h. Would I ever get to PE?
And for an extra point, express the problem mathematically.


Thomas O. Scarborough said...

There would be a logarithmic reduction in speed, and you would never, ever get home. You should enjoy this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno's_paradoxes. You'll be pleased to see you are in the company of great minds.

Hazel nut said...

It's too late at night for my poor brain to work that one out

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Is Zeno the guy with the tortoise? Or did Terry Pratchett invent the tortoise? I'd like to point out that I was driving my Honda Jazz and not a tortoise, so it doesn't apply.
Also, I shall decree that the speed shoud not be a continuous function of the distance, but that it should be evaluated every half an hour. So, I will get to PE!