THE BALL PROBLEM.





A stonemason was engaged the other day in cutting out a round ball for
the purpose of some architectural decoration, when a smart schoolboy
came upon the scene.
"Look here," said the mason, "you seem to be a sharp youngster, can you
tell me this? If I placed this ball on the level ground, how many other
balls of the same size could I lay around it (also on the ground) so
that every ball should touch this one?"
The boy at once gave the correct answer, and then put this little
question to the mason:--
"If the surface of that ball contained just as many square feet as its
volume contained cubic feet, what would be the length of its diameter?"
The stonemason could not give an answer. Could you have replied
correctly to the mason's and the boy's questions?





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