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Displacements on a grid

  1. Jun 6, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    We fit the plane with a coordinate system, and we consider the set of points with coordinates in ##\mathbb{N}\times\mathbb{N} ##. To link two points in this coordinate system, we only allow unit displacements, and only increasing displacements.
    In how many ways can one reach point ##(a,b)## starting from ##(0,0)## ?

    2. Relevant equations

    ##d_i## is the direction of axis ##i##, ##i = 1,2##

    3. The attempt at a solution

    There will be ##a## displacements in direction ##d_1##, and ##b## displacements in direction ##d_2##, for a total of ##a+b## displacements.
    Since there are only two kinds of displacements, it fully describes a possible way to choose once and for all a direction, and to assign an order of appearance in ##[[1..a+b]]## for each displacements in this direction, among all displacements.
    Let us choose ##d_1##. The number of possible ways to link ##(0,0)## and ##(a,b)## is reduced to finding the number of parts of cardinal ##a## in ##[[1..a+b]]##, which is ##\binom {a+b} {a}##.
    Do you agree with the reasoning ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2016 #2
    Hi geoffrey:

    Looks good to me.

    Regards,
    Buzz
     
  4. Jun 6, 2016 #3
    Ok, thanks !
     
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