6.2.4 Adding and Subtracting Fractions Challenge

Now that you’ve warmed up, you must be ready for a challenge!

Whether you choose to be the bike or airplane, you will need to use your new skills to win this game [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Good luck!

If you’d like another challenge after that, then here’s a very old one. What would happen if you added the following pattern of fractions together?

sum with, 7 , summands one divided by two plus one divided by four plus one divided by eight plus one divided by 16 plus one divided by 32 plus one divided by 64 plus midline horizontal ellipsisand so on?

Well, the answer is that the sum would get closer and closer to 1, but you would never get quite there! This is an example of an old mathematical puzzle called Zeno’s Paradox, about a race between the Greek warrior Achilles and a tortoise. It dates from around 450 bce.

Tortoise picture

Multimedia symbolWatch a short video clip and read a brief article on the paradox.

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If you study more math, you’ll discover how to continue adding these fractions forever, and then their sum is 1!

6.2.3 Adding and Subtracting Fractions

6.2.5 Activity: Young People and Debt