This problem was e-mailed to me by my friend Eric Wogsberg, who later informed me that it comes from a calculus book by Lipman Bers:
are an architect. Your client,
living in Flatland, wants a building designed with a long 3 foot wide corridor
which opens into a larger hallway. You
must design the hallway for the minimum width w that will allow the inhabitants
to move a 24 foot-long pole down the corridor and turn it into the hallway. The
corridor is perpendicular to the hallway. Since
this is Flatland, the pole cannot be tilted up.
The pole is rigid. How wide must the hallway be?
Solutions (listed by author)
Michael A. Gottlieb (pdf, 82K)
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