# Some apparently simple math problems still with...

smaia
Posers and Puzzles 17 Feb '08 15:58
1. 17 Feb '08 15:58
Assume any closed curve, of any shape.
Proof that there are at least four points in this curve that are the vertices of a square.
2. 17 Feb '08 17:29
It seems the title was cut off.
This is an unresolved problem.
If you find a solution, you will receive a prize equivalent to the Nobel.
There is no Nobel prize for math.
3. agryson
AGW Hitman
17 Feb '08 21:171 edit
Originally posted by smaia
It seems the title was cut off.
This is an unresolved problem.
If you find a solution, you will receive a prize equivalent to the Nobel.
There is no Nobel prize for math.
Because the original "Nobel" who started the prize was a little miffed at his wife running off with a mathematician... apparently.

Edit: Is it safe to assume that the sides of the square can cross the curve? it is only the vertices that need lie on the curve, so the square can theoretically have a larger internal area than the curve?
4. 17 Feb '08 22:17
Originally posted by agryson
Because the original "Nobel" who started the prize was a little miffed at his wife running off with a mathematician... apparently.

Edit: Is it safe to assume that the sides of the square can cross the curve? it is only the vertices that need lie on the curve, so the square can theoretically have a larger internal area than the curve?
Are you serious? I always wondered why there is no Nobel prize for math. It does not make much sense to have the prize for physics, chemistry, etc. ans not for math.
5. agryson
AGW Hitman
17 Feb '08 23:42
Originally posted by smaia
Are you serious? I always wondered why there is no Nobel prize for math. It does not make much sense to have the prize for physics, chemistry, etc. ans not for math.
Well, I know that his wife ran off with a mathematician, but there's still a lot of controversy over whether he was petty enough for this to be a reason. The generally accepted reason is that he saw no practical value in mathematics for improving mans lot in life, though this would tend to be contradictory in the face of nobel prizes for literature which arguably provide no practical benefit but do provide an important artistic and aesthetic outlet. Much of mathematics does the same as well as its constant and important role in the sciences and engineering. Is there one for engineering?
If it is true, it makes a good anecdote.
6. joe shmo
Strange Egg
18 Feb '08 02:31
Originally posted by smaia
It seems the title was cut off.
This is an unresolved problem.
If you find a solution, you will receive a prize equivalent to the Nobel.
There is no Nobel prize for math.
If it is unresolved, how will decide if it is solved correctly? isn't there a Fields Medal in mathematics, which is like the Nobel?
7. 18 Feb '08 02:52
Originally posted by agryson
Well, I know that his wife ran off with a mathematician, but there's still a lot of controversy over whether he was petty enough for this to be a reason. The generally accepted reason is that he saw no practical value in mathematics for improving mans lot in life, though this would tend to be contradictory in the face of nobel prizes for literature which arg ...[text shortened]... ences and engineering. Is there one for engineering?
If it is true, it makes a good anecdote.
I would add that with the development of quantum mechanics, chemistry became an area of physics and yet these areas are treated as separate subjects as far as Nobel is concerned.

Also, the development of physics have always relied in pre-existing math theories that had no practical application by the time they were developed. A classical example is the theory of general relativity which is a practical application of riemmanian geometry. It was developed before relativity by the brilliant German mathematician Bernard Riemman. He died very young and did not see his theory become the foundation of one of the most important developments in the history of science.
Einstein won the Nobel prize, but for his work on the photoelectric effect. But he would have deserved the prize for his much more important work on relativity. How unfair it would have been to award him the Nobel and exclude Riemman just because he was a mathematician.
8. TheMaster37
Kupikupopo!
18 Feb '08 12:24
Odd that this problem hasn't been sovled...it seems to be a really easy problem.

But that's mathematics for you :p
9. 18 Feb '08 16:21
Originally posted by agryson
Because the original "Nobel" who started the prize was a little miffed at his wife running off with a mathematician... apparently.

Edit: Is it safe to assume that the sides of the square can cross the curve? it is only the vertices that need lie on the curve, so the square can theoretically have a larger internal area than the curve?
Too bad Nobel was never married.
10. 18 Feb '08 16:28
Originally posted by David113
Too bad Nobel was never married.
He had an explosive temper...
11. 18 Feb '08 17:45
Originally posted by joe shmo
If it is unresolved, how will decide if it is solved correctly? isn't there a Fields Medal in mathematics, which is like the Nobel?
Yes, there is, it is very prestigious (in the academia) but it is not the Nobel which is generally accepted as the most prestigious award someone can get. The issue is the non-inclusion of math in the Nobel. It just does not make sense....
12. agryson
AGW Hitman
18 Feb '08 18:43
Originally posted by David113
Too bad Nobel was never married.
Really, must have been his fiancee or highschool crush or something, I read it in an article on the prize, I may have missed some details, or they didn't research their article enough. Probably both.
13. 18 Feb '08 19:25
Originally posted by TheMaster37
Odd that this problem hasn't been sovled...it seems to be a really easy problem.

But that's mathematics for you :p
Then do it!
14. 18 Feb '08 19:26
Originally posted by smaia

If you find a solution, you will receive a prize equivalent to the Nobel.
There is no Nobel prize for math.
Is this the problem? Is there a Nobel prize for maths and the puzzle is that? It would mean it is unresolved, at least.
15. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
19 Feb '08 02:52
Originally posted by FabianFnas
He had an explosive temper...
I heard he got bombed regularly