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# gamesman problems

by Vaughan Clarkson

Problem #1: Lightbulb Moment Problem #3
You have three identical incandescent Given an m # n matrix A and an n # m
light globes such as you might use matrix B, prove that tr (AB) = tr (BA) ,
to ambush electrical engineering where tr (\$) represents the trace of
aIhk9eKOLzQ). You connect
two in parallel and the third in Problem #4
series with the first two. You If A, B are n # m matrices,
then apply an appropriate then AB - BA cannot be a
power source. Is any globe nonzero multiple of the id­ ­
brighter than any other? If so, ent it y. (AB - BA is t he Lie
by how much? bracket of A and B.)

Problem #2: Cost of Equilibrium Problem #5
Show that if p is prime, then a k k,
p
There are two identical ideal capacitors Numbers—© Can Stock Photo/agsandrew,
connected by an ideal switch. One 0 1 k 1 p, is divisible by p.
capacitor is charged to voltage V0 . The
other is uncharged. You close the switch and allow the Acknowledgments
system to come to equilibrium. Initially the energy in the Problems #1 and #2 were supplied by Peter Farrell and
system is CV 20 /2. Later, the voltage on each capacitor is Problems #4 and #5 were suggested by Bill Moran, both
V0 /2 , and the stored energy is C (V0 /2) 2 = CV 20 /4 . Where of Melbourne, Australia.
did the energy go?

Problems #3–5: 100-Character Challenges
Here are some problems in mathematics. Can you prove If you have a problem for the Gamesman,
each one in 100 characters or fewer? (You don’t need to submit it along with the solution
to potentials@ieee.org. If we publish your problem,
count spaces within equations.)
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPOT.2016.2617404 Solutions are on page 5.
Date of publication: 10 January 2017

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