Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Emily:

I'm stuck on this problem and feel that it can't work! The problem is: there is a door with a balance scale on it. In order to open the door, you have to use the 5 weights to balance the scale. On the left side you have 2 boxes to place the weights and on the right side you have 3. You're 5 weights are as follows: 1lbs, 2lbs, 3lbs, 4lbs, 5lbs. How do you place the weights so that the scale is balanced?

Hi Emily,

I like your notion that you "feel it can't work" but let's think outside the box. I think you are reading into the problem something that is not required.


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