Quant, Math & Computer Science Puzzles for Interview Preparation & Brain Teasing
A collection of ~225 Puzzles with Solutions (classified by difficulty and topic)

Oct 5, 2009

Semi-circle covering n points : Puzzle

Problem : (Posed by Saurabh Joshi, IIT Kanpur in his blog)

Given n points drawn randomly on the circumference of a circle, what is the probability they will all be within any common semicircle?

Solution :
Highlight the part between the * symbols for the answer.
If a semi-circle covering all n points, indeed exists, then, a semi-circle covering all n points and starting from one of the points in a clock-wise direction also exists.

So, given a semi-circle which starts at one of the point in clock-wise direction. The probability that the rest of the n-1 points will be in that semi-circle is 1/(2^(n-1)). So for n such semi-circle, the probability will be n/(2^(n-1)) *


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