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Problems from Another Time

Individual problems from throughout mathematics history, as well as articles that include problem sets for students.

A railway train strikes a snowdrift which creates a constant resistance. How long does it take the snow to stop the train?
A ladder is placed perpendicular to the plane of the horizon, and in coincidence with the plane of an upright wall.
A California miner has a spherical ball of gold, 2 inches in diamter, which he wants to exchange for spherical balls 1 inch in diameter. How many of the smaller spheres should he receive?
The sum of two numbers is 10 and their product is 40. What are the numbers?
Two wine merchants enter Paris, one of them with 64 casks of wine, the other with 20.
The three sides of a triangular piece of land, taken in order, measure 15, 10, and 13 chains respectively.
In baking a hemispherical loaf of bread of 10" radius, the crust was everywhere of an equal thickness, and the solidity of the crust was equal to half the solid content of the whole loaf. What were the dimensions of the interior soft part?
Given a triangular piece of land having two sides 10 yards in length and its base 12 yards, what is the largest square that can be constructed within this piece of land so that one of its sides lies along the base of the triangle?
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.
After a terrible battle it is found that 70% of the soldiers have lost an eye.

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