This is a problem from my abstract algebra book written by Ted Shifrin:(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

A druggist has the five weights of 1, 3, 9, 27, and 81 ounces, and a two-pan balance. Show that he can weigh any integral amount up to and including 121 ounces. How can you generalize this result?

While I see how it's possible to obtain lots of different weights with these 5, I have absolutely no idea how I can generalize my result. Does anyone know the answer to this problem? Thanks a lot in advance.

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

Dismiss Notice

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Using a balance with 5 weights

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**