The concept of ‘Impossible’ problems.

I dread talking to anyone about this subject and one reason is that impossible problems with simple solutions are difficult to find, I do not want to waste one !. As you can guess an ‘impossible problem is one that most adults would declare as totally impossible for them to solve and therefore a child certainly couldn’t do it !.  For example here is one I gave to a smart ass ten year old boy, who could not slow down.

“Invent a machine to measure the onset frequency of of the decline in visual acuity, in the human body subjected to vibration, ie a helicopter pilot. Use your machine to test people of all age groups and tell me if the decline frequency is age related”

I also told him that if there was anything he didn’t understand in the question, then he should learn how to use a dictionary. It took him over a week to understand the question followed by another week or so to come up with the machine, which he then demonstrated to his school.  Now although it sounds impossible, it is one of these things that can be done after only doing the first lesson.  All it requires is lateral thinking and most adults are not very good at that.

Six miles away from my location is the Army Air Corps Centre, they are a noisy lot of devils and felt sure they would welcome a PR photo-opportunity with a child genius Hi!. That is how it works !.  For some strange reason most of the impossible questions I have found so far relate to solving medical problems or, solar energy harvesting. If you have any good ‘impossible’ problems, I will welcome them.

©  John Kent 2012. All rights reserved.