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Did You Find Out? Get the Answer to the Riddle of E-News Issue No. 02, May 2013

An ant is sitting on the corner of a plastic ice cube at a picnic, and wants to go to the opposite corner (body diagonal) because it sees some tasty sugar cubes.
Can you determine the shortest route for the ant?

An ant is sitting on the corner of a plastic ice cube at a picnic, and wants to go to the opposite corner (body diagonal) because it sees some tasty sugar cubes. Can you determine the shortest travel path for the ant?

Solution

The fastest path for the ant.
The fastest path for the ant.

The fastest path for the ant goes across the surface of the cube.


A straight line gets the ant to its sugar cubes in the shortest amount of time.
A straight line gets the ant to its sugar cubes in the shortest amount of time.

This becomes apparent if the cube is viewed as a flat object”. The image illustrates the straight line that cuts the edge between the green and the grey areas across the surface of the cube.