Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Lesson Taught By Strange Principal


Where it did begin? 

While finding the solution we need to keep basic fact from the problem in mind. Since lockers were closed initially, the lockers which are 'accessed' for odd number of times only are going to open. Rest of all would be closed.

Now task is to find how many such lockers are there which were 'accessed' for odd number of times.

Let's take any number say 24 for example, which is not perfect square & find out how many factors it has.

24 = 1 x 24
24 = 2 x 12
24 = 3 x 8
24 = 4 x 6

So factors are 1,2,3,4,6,8,12,24 i.e. 8 numbers as factors which is even number. Every factor is paired with other 'unique' number! So this pairing always makes number of factors 'even'. In the problem, this lock no.24 will be 'accessed' by 1st, 2nd, 3rd..................24th student. That means 'accessed' even number of time & hence would remain closed.

Now let's take a look at lock no. 16 in which 16 is perfect square. Finding it's factors,

16 = 1 x 16
16 = 2 x 8
16 = 4 x 4

we get 1,2,4,8,16 i.e. 5 numbers as factors which is odd. The reason behind is here 4 appears twice (with itself) while rest of others are paired with other 'unique' number. Hence, number of factors of a perfect square are always odd. Now here lock 16 would be accessed by 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 16th i.e. 5 times. Hence it will be open.

Like this way, every lock with number which is perfect square would be 'accessed' for odd number of times & hence would remain open! e.g. 1,4,9,16,25,49 & so on.

Now 961 (31^2) is the maximum perfect square that can appear within 1000 (32^2) as 1024 goes beyond.

Hence there would be 31 locks open while rest of all closed!


The mathematical fact taught by strange principal
Lesson Of The Day

So what lesson taught by strange principal? The number which is perfect square has odd number of divisors.