Zeno’s Paradox, Achilles and a turtle.


I usually only add one of these a month, but they are getting solved so quickly I thought I’d step up my game.

I posted this from a Barnes and NobleZeno of Elea (c. 490 – 430 Bc) wrote extensively on the subdivision of matter, and two paradoxes are named for him concerning the subject. To BROADLY sum up, matter cannot be divided indefinitely. There are particles that are too small be divided. Perhaps this does not hold true for space and time. In any event, of Zeno’s two paradoxes, I rather like the second one. So here goes.

Achilles and the Tortoise.

Achilles and the Tortoise have a race. Achilles can run ten times as fast so the Tortoise is given a 100 pace lead. By the time Achilles has run 100 paces, the tortoise is 10 paces ahead. By the time Achilles is 10 paces further, the Tortoise has gone 1 pace more, and so on. Zeno said that Achilles could never catch the Tortoise, but actually the theory falls apart rather easily with a simple equation. Achilles catches the Tortoise in a finite distance, measured in paces.

Based on what you know, how many?

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One response to “Zeno’s Paradox, Achilles and a turtle.

  1. Without using a calculator, somewhere between pace 111 and 112.