Overhang

by Mike Paterson (Warwick University) and Uri Zwick (Tel Aviv University)

Year of Award: 2011

Award: Robbins

Publication Information: American Mathematical Monthly Vol. 116, January 2009, pp. 19-44

Summary: This paper proves the surprising result that $n$ blocks can be (cunningly) stacked using suitable counterbalancing to achieve an overhang proportional to $n^{1/3}$. (Many people have assumed that the overhang of about log $n$, given by the standard calculus exercise, is optimal.)