What is the smallest time interval that can be measured?

You are given some matches, a rope, and a pair of scissors.

The rope burns irregularly and takes 60 minutes to burn end to end. however, we know that the burn rate at distance x from the left end is the same as the burn rate at distance x from the right.

What is the smallest time interval that you can measure?

time-rope-puzzle

 

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SherlockHolmes Expert Asked on 1st November 2015 in Interview Puzzles.
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  • 2 Answer(s)
    Best answer

    3.75 minutes.

    dougbell Genius Answered on 9th November 2015.
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    Since we can cut the rope with the help of a pair of scissors, the rope can be cut in half, which is equivalent to having two ropes of 30 minutes long. Lay them in rows and set fire to opposite ends. The flames will meet at the center and we will have a 15 minutes rope. Set the fire to the other end of the smaller rope, so that it burns down to 7.5 minutes. Then set fire to the other end of the remaining rope, which will finish burning in 3.75minutes.

    Therefore the smallest time interval that can be measured is 3.75 minutes.

    monika Scholar Answered on 3rd November 2015.
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