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The Ross-Littlewood Paradox

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Whenever I feel especially frustrated or burned out I will often turn to art or music to rejuvenate myself. Whenever art and music aren’t up to the task, I turn to mathematics. I once spent an entire afternoon working to figure out a formula that could predict prime numbers. This week was one of those frustrating burn out weeks. I started out looking into Hilbert’s 23 problems which were way over my head and then somehow ended up at the Wikipedia page for the Ross-Littlewood Paradox which is really just a variation on Zeno’s Paradoxes or the Thomson’s Lamp Paradox. The Ross-Littlewood Paradox is often referred to as the balls and vase problem or the ping pong ball problem, but I like to think of it as the marbles in a jar problem because that just seems much more elegant to me.

Ross-Littlewood Paradox


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