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Simple maths riddle.

 
 
fresco
 
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 02:04 pm
Two high speed trains each travelling at 200 kph each leave two cities 800 km apart at the same time and travel towards each other. Superman is bored that day and decides to fly directly from train to train at constant 1000 kph using an instantaneous touch and go technique at the front of each locomotive (like swimmers in a pool turning for each length). How far will Superman have flown from the time the trains leave until they pass each other.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 5,695 • Replies: 19
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View best answer, chosen by fresco
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 02:31 pm
For clarification...
Superman leaves the first train as it departs and flies continuously there and back between the two trains.
0 Replies
 
oolongteasup
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2009 07:49 pm
@fresco,
what a

beautiful mind

to have thought of this tale of two cities

i wonder how long it takes the trains to pass each other

nudge nudge wink wink
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 12:41 am
@oolongteasup,
Wink
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 07:14 am
@fresco,
Why do people say "Maths" in stead of "Math"?
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 07:25 am
@rosborne979,
why do people say math instead of Maths? (Maths is of the correct way)
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 07:27 am
@dadpad,
dadpad wrote:
why do people say math instead of Maths? (Maths is of the correct way)

Why is maths correct? Isn't maths plural of math? What is the derivation of the term?
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 07:31 am
your langauge is english. The english version is maths.
Is Mathematic (singular) correct

dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 07:34 am
@dadpad,
Hi Mica - thanks for writing to Dr. Math.

Good question! Maths is short for mathematics. Here's what Steven
Schwartzman has to say in his book, _The Words of Mathematics_
(Mathematical Association of America):

mathematics: Latin mathematica was a plural noun, which is why
mathematics has an -s at the end even though we use it as a singular
noun. Latin had taken the word from Greek mathematikos, which in turn
was based on mathesis. That word, which was also borrowed into English
but is now archaic, meant "mental discipline" or "learning,"
especially mathematical learning. The Indo-European root is mendh-
"to learn." Plato believed no one could be considered educated without
learning mathematics. A polymath is a person who has learned many
things, not just mathematics.

- Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 07:41 am
@dadpad,
"In English, the noun mathematics takes singular verb forms. It is often shortened to maths, or math in English-speaking North America." - WIKI

Apparently both are correct. And since I live in English-speaking North America, it's Math Wink
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 11:14 am
@rosborne979,
( Rolling Eyes........Superman has gone for a lie down !)
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 11:25 am
@rosborne979,
Rosborne, I think the major difference lies in the way in which it is taught. In the United States, we have separated maths into four separate and distinct categories - Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Caluculus each of which are separate and year long courses. In the Uk - they combine them and so call them maths plural instead of one separate and distinct math subject, ie - a math , such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry or calculus (alone and separate from the others).
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 11:31 am
As one who was educated in America, I always say 'math'. But I certainly see the logic of 'maths' inasmuch as it's just short for mathematics.
0 Replies
 
Miss L Toad
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 11:34 pm
@oolongteasup,
Well, well : isn't oolongteasup's double witted quip about a movie and a novel a circumlocutory inverted quirk of a way to not answer the question by summing the series.
solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 11:41 pm
@Miss L Toad,
Butt out of it you hemi-parasitic predator and get a plant life.
epenthesis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 11:49 pm
@solipsister,
That might be enough solipsistic lip and cogito ergo sums from you sister. Enjoy your reason and your season everyone.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 11:56 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Two high speed trains each travelling at 200 kph each leave two cities 800 km apart at the same time and travel towards each other. Superman is bored that day and decides to fly directly from train to train at constant 1000 kph using an instantaneous touch and go technique at the front of each locomotive (like swimmers in a pool turning for each length). How far will Superman have flown from the time the trains leave until they pass each other.

For clarification...
Superman leaves the first train as it departs and flies continuously there and back between the two trains.

From one point of view, Supes has flown for two hours at 1000 kph.

From another point of view, Supes ends up 400 kilometers from where he started.

You pays your money and takes your chances.

Meanwhile, the passengers and crew of each train are now a thin red smear from having instantly accelerated to 200 kph from a resting start.....
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  0  
Reply Sun 20 Nov, 2011 03:13 pm
@fresco,
Superman would have to have zero mass, a final frequency of infinity and zero volume.
fresco
 
  0  
Reply Mon 21 Nov, 2011 12:50 am
@Chumly,
Smile
No problem for a being who in one story orbited the Earth "so fast he reversed time" in order to undo Lois's fatal car crash !
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  0  
Reply Mon 21 Nov, 2011 03:16 am
√úbermensch...
0 Replies
 
 

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