Imagine you have a supply of perfectly uniform bricks of length 1, and you'd like to build a freestanding bridge of sorts. How far could this bridge theoretically extend if it is composed of bricks placed on top of once another in a single strip?

For example, a bridge made of 3 bricks resting on the ground would look something like this from the side:

Originally posted by PBE6 Imagine you have a supply of perfectly uniform bricks of length 1, and you'd like to build a freestanding bridge of sorts. How far could this bridge theoretically extend if it is composed of bricks placed on top of once another in a single strip?

For example, a bridge made of 3 bricks resting on the ground would look something like this from the side:

Originally posted by uzless an easier way would be to just build your bridge in the shape of an arch but i'm not sure if this is what you had in mind when you said one strip.

That's a good point, actually. I should have used the word "staircase" instead of "bridge".

Originally posted by joneschr It can grow infinitely, but, you need to counterbalance each brick with enough weight, so that no one brick tips.

So, every brick must have more weight on the overlapping part beneath it, than the part standing free (or else the obvious happens).

So, you just need to make sure that you add additional weight to compensate for all the bricks that you ad ...[text shortened]... a funny looking bridge, but it can get as long (and high at the same time) as you want it to.

I think you're hovering around the right idea, but you don't need extra weight on the back end of the staircase to balance everything. The greatest length bridge can be achieved with one brick per level, no back-weighting.

HINT: Each subset of bricks must balance on that subset's foundation brick...try starting with the smallest subset and see what happens!

Originally posted by PBE6 I think you're hovering around the right idea, but you don't need extra weight on the back end of the staircase to balance everything. The greatest length bridge can be achieved with one brick per level, no back-weighting.

HINT: Each subset of bricks must balance on that subset's foundation brick...try starting with the smallest subset and see what happens!

It might have something to do with the fact that the series