# Thread: Strange math problem? Find break-points, given blocks of differing lengths.

1. ## Strange math problem? Find break-points, given blocks of differing lengths.

Hello all,

I am trying to wrap my mind around a way to solve a problem and could use some advice or help. The best I can do is form this into a word problem.

So, The problem is this:

I need to find points that coincide with each other.

For example, I have 2 wooden blocks that each have a different length.
Block one is 3 inches long, and block 2 is 8 inches long.

point 0 is the same for both blocks. The next point these blocks have a common break point is 24, then 48, and so on.

My problem is that I have several blocks of different lengths, and I need to identify these common break points in relation to each other.
In other words I am not looking for a common break point for all of them. Just the points where these blocks line up with the others break points, wherever they may occur.

For example with three blocks. Lengths 3 inches (red block), 8 inches ( blue block), and 10 inches (yellow block).
common break points for red and blue blocks would be 24, 48.. etc.
Common break point between red and yellow blocks are 30, 60...etc.
common break point between yellow and blue blocks are 80, 160...etc.

In actuality I would be comparing about 8 blocks of different lengths, and would like to make a spreadsheet to find these points where the ends of the blocks line up.

Can anyone out there think of an easy way to chart this type of information suitable for making a spreadsheet?

Regards,
Alex

2. Yes. But this isn't a consulting service. You'll have to show us your best efforts, first.

3. Originally Posted by tkhunny
Yes. But this isn't a consulting service. You'll have to show us your best efforts, first.
I have been using a visual aid. I hope this doesn't confuse anyone because its not wooden blocks, but the concept is the same. I had to convert it to pdf, so its not exactly as I see it.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/o7tj1wurbq...ample.pdf?dl=0

4. Originally Posted by mathminded
I have been using a visual aid. I hope this doesn't confuse anyone because its not wooden blocks, but the concept is the same. I had to convert it to pdf, so its not exactly as I see it.
The image below is exactly what I see, when I look at your pdf.

If you're trying to display an image file (not pdf), you can upload it to the server here and then attach it to your next post. See the FAQ, if you need help, but the Manage Attachments button is located below the composition field (i.e., scroll down the page, when typing your post).

5. Originally Posted by mmm4444bot
The image below is exactly what I see, when I look at your pdf.

If you're trying to display an image, you can upload it to the server here and then attach it to your next post. See the FAQ, if you need help, but the Manage Attachments button is located below the composition field (i.e., scroll down the page, when typing your post).
Yes, the upload fails each time I use it. The original file has an .eps extension and when converted from a very large file down to the "acceptable" formats it loses its quality. This is not very important though. You see the basic layout. The colored blocks are proportional to their value in length. The lower section is just an extrapolation of that. You will have to use a super power of inference here. Imagine a value assigned to the blocks. Whats printed on the page is of no real consequence.

6. Originally Posted by mathminded
… when converted from a very large file down to the "acceptable" formats it loses its quality …
For future reference, if you take a screen shot of your image when it's displayed on your monitor, there shouldn't be any noticeable loss of quality. The Windows' Snipping Tool creates .JPG files that work fine for me.

7. Originally Posted by mathminded
For example, I have 2 wooden blocks that each have a different length.
Block one is 3 inches long, and block 2 is 8 inches long.

point 0 is the same for both blocks. The next point these blocks have a common break point is 24, then 48, and so on.
0...3...6...9...12...15...18...21...24
0..........8...............16.............24

That involves using the LCM function.
LCM(3,8) = 24

8. ## pre-algebra

excellent!

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