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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Knot or Not?

One day Professor Egghead was taking a walk in the park behind his house and spied a cord of some sort lying on the path. From the distance that he was from the rope he couldn't see if it was knotted or not.

As he continued to approach the cord he wondered about the probability of the cord being a knot.
In what orientations would the cord be a knot and what is the probability that the cord was knotted?


Anonymous said...

A knot 25% of the time

Anonymous said...

The answer its not. Here is how you work it out. Solution: The ropes/laces or not knotted because you can see that its just one over another so when you pull both ends it will come out straight with not a knot found on the rope/lace.

Anonymous said...

The answer is Not* i meant im sorry ^^

Mike and Rebecca said...

Treating it as a binary system, and if the rope leading to the "A" end of the rope can either be the top rope or not, we get 8 possibilities. Of these 8, 4 configurations will make a knot. So the answer is 50%. B=Bottom, T=Top

BBB = No knot
TBB = No knot
BTB = Knot
TTB = Knot
BBT = Knot
TBT = Knot
BTT = No knot
TTT = No knot