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Isn't Math Illuminating Poster

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By Brigitte Bentele, Ron Lancaster


Isn't MATH ILLUMINATING
CIRCLES AND ELLIPSES are everywhere, even on the logo of Grand Central Terminal in New York City. In Vanderbilt Hall, formerly the Waiting Room and now used for cultural and commercial events, five majestic gold chandeliers of seemingly concentric circles hang from the ceiling. A photograph taken directly beneath one of these chandeliers makes the circles appear concentric, but the circles actually lie in parallel planes, with the largest circle closest to the ceiling and the smallest closest to the floor. The three innermost circles have light bulbs that are equally spaced. The number of bulbs in each of these rings follows an arithmetic sequence: 8, 24, and 40. However, the fourth ring has 48 bulbs instead of 56, resulting in bulbs that are slightly more widely spaced.
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