Question 12 balls ( Physics Help and Math Help  Physics Forums Brain Teasers ) Updated: 20080224 21:47:26 (16) 

12 balls
You have 12 balls, and a weighing machine with no standard weighs. One of those 12 balls is either lighter or heavier than the others. Spot the ball in 3 chances with the weighing machine.


Answers: 12 balls ( Physics Help and Math Help  Physics Forums Brain Teasers ) 

12 balls
hint:
2x6, 2x3, 2x1+1
or 2x4+4, 2x2, 2x1
country boy


12 balls
hint:
2x6, 2x3, 2x1+1
or 2x4+4, 2x2, 2x1
country boy


12 balls
Sorry, I forgot to mention that you must also be able to say whether the ball is heavy or light.
Xalos


12 balls
This "puzzle" has been posted a zillion times here...
Kittel Knight


12 balls
Take a look...
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=156201
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=110934
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=105118
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=88248
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=84645
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=40405
Kittel Knight


12 balls
Maybe not a zillion times, but more than 5 times.
jimmysnyder


12 balls
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xalos
You have 12 balls

I've had that dream before. Kind of a nightmare, actually. It was impossible to walk or sit down.
Quote:
and a weighing machine with no standard weighs. One of those 12 balls is either lighter or heavier than the others. Spot the ball in 3 chances with the weighing machine.

Oh! Okay.
6 vs. 5 + 1 lighter. Get the lighter set.
3 vs 2 + 1 lighter. Get the lighter set.
Weigh any 2 of them. If they are equal, the 3rd one is lighter.
PoopLoops


12 balls
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoopLoops
I've had that dream before. Kind of a nightmare, actually. It was impossible to walk or sit down.

Thank you. I actually have spittle on my screen.
DaveC426913


12 balls
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoopLoops
6 vs. 5 + 1 lighter. Get the lighter set.
.
.
.

It is not ok: the defective ball could be in the heavier set .
Rogerio


12 balls
Oh craps. I didn't notice that it could be lighter or heavier.
PoopLoops


12 balls
The puzzle is new to me, so here's my answer:
Weigh 4 against 4.
If they even out, select three and weigh against 3 from the remainder. If they cancel out still, and since there's 1 ball left, one more weighing will give away the answer. If not, then the foreign ball is within those 3 balls selected from the remainder. At this step, it should be clear whether the foreign ball is lighter or heavier than the others. Now say the said balls are A B C, and other random balls now known to be normal are X X X. Weigh A X against B X. If they even out, then obviously it's C, if not, then either A or B.
Now if 4 against 4 doesn't cancel out, substitute one side with the remainder. Depending on what the scale reads, determine whether the foreign ball is lighter or heavier. In any case, you'll end with a 2 against 2 weighing, which will easily give away the foreign ball by swapping two balls from each side, and substituting for 1 ball from the remainder on one side.
Werg22


12 balls
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittel Knight
This "puzzle" has been posted a zillion times here...

I've told you a million times: don't hyperbolize!
DaveC426913


12 balls
Quote:
Originally Posted by Werg22
The puzzle is new to me, so here's my answer:
<snip>
Now if 4 against 4 doesn't cancel out, substitute one side with the remainder. Depending on what the scale reads, determine whether the foreign ball is lighter or heavier. In any case, you'll end with a 2 against 2 weighing, which will easily give away the foreign ball by swapping two balls from each side, and substituting for 1 ball from the remainder on one side.

I am pretty positive the bolded part would not work.
doodle


12 balls
You're right, what I wrote is senseless. Impossible to determine a foreign ball out of 4 balls with only one weighing. I'll try rectifying the solution, tomorow
Werg22


12 balls
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC426913
I've told you a million times: don't hyperbolize!

You are right, Dave!
Even my mother has already told me this a billion times...
Kittel Knight


12 balls
Ok here's the correction:
4 against 4 doesn't even out
Say we have on the heavier side A B C D and on the lighter side S T U V, and X represent a ball from the remainder. Now weigh S X X X against A T U V. If they even, out, the foreign ball is among B C D, and is heavier. If S X X X > A T U V, then the foreign ball is among T U V and is lighter. If S X X X < A T U V, weigh A against X. If A = X, then S is the foreign ball, and is lighter. If A > X, then A is the foreign ball and is heavier.
Solved
Werg22


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