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Mistake in Gamow's Puzzle Math

  1. Sep 10, 2009 #1
    Mistake in Gamow's "Puzzle Math"

    I can't believe this could have gone unnoticed in the fifty-one years since this amazing book came out, but on page 63 of "Puzzle Math", in explaining the "Passing Trains" problem, Gamow writes:

    "Since the track from here to LA is three times longer than that to Chicago the chances are the to one that the (single) train is to the west rather than to the east of you. And, if it is west of you, it will be going eastward the first time it passes. If there are many trains traveling between Chicago and California, as is actually the case, THE SITUATION WILL, OF COURSE, REMAIN THE SAME, AND THE FIRST TRAIN PASSING OUR CITY AFTER ANY GIVEN TIME IS STILL MOST LIKELY TO BE AN EASTBOUND ONE."

    Surely this is wrong for the case of many trains?
  2. jcsd
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