04 December 2008

Mathematical humor

The Ham sandwich theorem states that:

Given n "objects" in n-dimensional space, it is possible to divide all of them in half in volume with a single (n - 1)-dimensional hyperplane.

The theorem gets its name because in the case n = 3, it implies that if I have a ham sandwich consisting of arbitrarily shaped pieces of ham, cheese, and bread (hah!), and an obsessive-compulsive friend, I can cut the sandwich in half with one swipe so that each of us gets exactly half the ham, half the cheese, and half the bread.

Cute, huh?

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