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Ants on the stick

Ants on the Stick

Ants on the stick is a phrase that involves the tricky math fact behind it. Consider Hundred ants are dropped on a meter long stick at a random position in a single point of time. Each ant is traveling either in the Right or Left direction with the constant speed of one meter per minute.

When two ants meet at a point, it bounces off each other and reverse its directions. When an ant reaches the edge of the stick, it falls off. So at some point of time, every ant will fall off from the stick,it wholly depends on the initial configuration of the Ants.

How long would be the time taken by all Ants to fall off from the stick. The answer is one minute. There is a simple fun fact behind here. When two ants bounce at each other it's difficult to track them. So, we can say two ants meeting at a point is equivalent to two ants that passes through each other. In this sense, position of the each ant is identical.

There is also possibility of ants acting in their independent motions. When we take in this way, all ants will fall off when they travel across the length of the stick. So the longest time we can ensure that all the ends would fall off is one minute.

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