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Bachet Weighing Problem

June 3rd, 2015 by Math Tricks | No Comments | Filed in Historical Math Puzzles

This puzzle goes weigh way back, several hundred years, and was devised by Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac.

Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac

Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac

His puzzle does take some thought, and you have to be careful with the wording:

What is the least number of weights that can be used on a scale pan to weigh any integral number of pounds from 1 to 40 inclusive, if the weights can be placed in either of the scale pans?

Good luck!