Before we begin, you probably can’t solve it.
In 1954 James Thomson, a british philosopher, came up with a captivating puzzle. It has since troubled the minds of many scientists (and everyone willing to find the solution), but the answer remains unclear.
The puzzle goes like this:
Imagine a lamp with a switch – it can be either on or off (obviously). You have two minutes to turn the light on and off consecutively. The first time you turn on the light – you leave it on for a full minute, and then you turn it off. You leave it off for 30 seconds (1/2 of a minute), and then you turn it back on again. After 15 seconds (1/4 of a minute), you turn it off and then leave it like that for 7.5 seconds (1/8 of a minute), and so on.
The questions is: After two minutes, will the lamp be on or off?
The truth is, the solution is too complicated for our non-Einstein minds, but if you are desperately eager to find it out, check it here:
(note: even this solution is not proved to be correct, and there are still no official answers to this paradox)
James Thomson called this puzzle a supertask. A supertask is: „a countably infinite sequence of operations that occur sequentially within a finite interval of time.“ In other words – it’s an EXTREMELY complicated task that actually requires a mind more advanced than the one humans have. For example, Achilles and the tortoise was also a supertask.
Napisala: Mateja Napravnik