# A Chinese ancient book problem

• Raul Lai
In summary, two children were arguing about the size and heat of the sun at different times of the day. One believed the sun was closer and larger in the morning due to perspective and the other believed it was closer and hotter at noon due to proximity. However, the real reason for these observations is a combination of atmospheric refraction and the brain's perception. Confucius then shares a wise saying about the significance of witnessing both the sunrise and sunset.

#### Raul Lai

Recently, I have read a old book with an article about two kids arguing the problem of Sun.

One day, Confucius heard two kids arguing on the road.
One said "in the morning, the sun rises, it is closer to the ground and look as big as a roof of the carriage. In the afternoon , the sun is far from the ground and look like a dish. It is because an object at faraway place look smaller than the close."
Another said " It should be reversed. In the morning, it is cooler ,but at noon, we seem to be living in the hot water. Since we are nearing a heat source, we feel hotter."

Actually, who is right and why?

I think both are wrong...

The image of the sun near the horizon is part illusion and part due to atmospheric refraction. While the image is not really larger, it is distorted making the sun appear to be an oblate spheroid [oval] at the horizon. The illusory part can be blamed on the brain, which fools itself into believing the sun is closer when near the ground. I believe this is at least partly related to our instinctive fear of heights. Which appears more distant, the tenth rung of a ladder as it leans against your house, or the tenth rung of the same ladder lying flat on the ground? The other boy is also wrong for more obvious reasons [the sun has already been shining for half the day].

Confusious say " Man who sees sunrise, will live his life, and see sunset."

thx a lot

## 1. What is the significance of the Chinese ancient book problem?

The Chinese ancient book problem refers to a mathematical puzzle that has been passed down for centuries in China. It involves finding the number of books in a stack based on given clues and has been used as a test of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

## 2. How old is the Chinese ancient book problem?

The exact age of the Chinese ancient book problem is unknown, but it is believed to have originated during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in China. It has been passed down through generations and has been studied by mathematicians and scholars for centuries.

## 3. Is the Chinese ancient book problem still relevant today?

Yes, the Chinese ancient book problem is still relevant today as it continues to be used as a tool for developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It has also been studied by mathematicians and has been used in various mathematical competitions.

## 4. Can the Chinese ancient book problem be solved using modern mathematical methods?

Yes, the Chinese ancient book problem can be solved using modern mathematical methods such as algebra and logic. Mathematicians have also developed different approaches and strategies to solve the problem, making it more accessible and understandable for modern readers.

## 5. Are there variations of the Chinese ancient book problem?

Yes, there are various variations of the Chinese ancient book problem, with different clues and scenarios. Some variations involve different types of objects, such as coins or animals, instead of books. These variations add to the challenge and make the problem more interesting for problem-solvers.