Riddle #898

logicmath

Flipping Lockers

There are 1 million closed school lockers in a row, labeled 1 through 1,000,000. You first go through and flip every locker open. Then you go through and flip every other locker (locker 2, 4, 6, etc...). When you're done, all the even-numbered lockers are closed. You then go through and flip every third locker (3, 6, 9, etc...). "Flipping" mean you open it if it's closed, and close it if it's open. For example, as you go through this time, you close locker 3 (because it was still open after the previous run through), but you open locker 6, since you had closed it in the previous run through. Then you go through and flip every fourth locker (4, 8, 12, etc...), then every fifth locker (5, 10, 15, etc...), then every sixth locker (6, 12, 18, etc...) and so on. At the end, you're going through and flipping every 999,998th locker (which is just locker 999,998), then every 999,999th locker (which is just locker 999,999), and finally, every 1,000,000th locker (which is just locker 1,000,000). At the end of this, is locker 1,000,000 open or closed?
Locker 1,000,000 will be open. If you think about it, the number of times that each locker is flipped is equal to the number of factors it has. For example, locker 12 has factors 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, and will thus be flipped 6 times (it will end be flipped when you flip every one, every 2nd, every 3rd, every 4th, every 6th, and every 12th locker). It will end up closed, since flipping an even number of times will return it to its starting position. You can see that if a locker number has an even number of factors, it will end up closed. If it has an odd number of factors, it will end up open. As it turns out, the only types of numbers that have an odd number of factors are squares. This is because factors come in pairs, and for squares, one of those pairs is the square root, which is duplicated and thus doesn't count twice as a factor. For example, 12's factors are 1 x 12, 2 x 6, and 3 x 4 (6 total factors). On the other hand, 16's factors are 1 x 16, 2 x 8, and 4 x 4 (5 total factors). So lockers 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, etc... will all be open. Since 1,000,000 is a square number (1000 x 1000), it will be open as well.
91.39 %
49 votes

Similar riddles

See also best riddles or new riddles.

logicmathshort

Three brothers

Dean Sam and Castiel are three brothers. Interestingly their current age is prime. What's more interesting that difference between their ages is also prime. How old are they?
Sam : 2 Dean : 5 Castiel : 7 Age diff 7 - 2 = '5' is prime 7 - 5 = '2' is prime 5 - 2 = '3' is prime
93.22 %
37 votes

logicmathshort

Eight eights

Using eight eights and addition only, can you make 1000?
888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1000
93.22 %
37 votes

logicmath

Pizza

How can you divide a pizza into 8 equal slices using only 3 straight cuts?
Cut 1: Cut the pizza straight down the middle into two halves. Cut 2: Keeping the two halves in the place, cut the pizza straight down the middle at right angles to the first cut (you will be left with 4 equal quarters) Cut 3: Pile the 4 quarters on top of each other and cut through the middle of the pile. You will be left with 8 equal slices.
93.22 %
37 votes

logicmath

Trains

A train leaves from Halifax, Nova Scotia heading towards Vancouver, British Columbia at 120 km/h. Three hours later, a train leaves Vancouver heading towards Halifax at 180 km/h. Assume there's exactly 6000 kilometers between Vancouver and Halifax. When they meet, which train is closer to Halifax?
Both trains would be at the same spot when they meet therefore they are both equally close to Halifax.
92.86 %
35 votes

logicmathshort

Three positive whole numbers

Find three positive whole numbers that have the same answer added together or when multiplied together.
1,2, & 3. 1 x 2 x 3 = 6 and 1 + 2 + 3 = 6
92.86 %
35 votes

logicmathshort

An electric train

If an electric train is going east at 60 miles an hour and there is a strong westerly wind, which way does the smoke from the train drift?
here is no smoke coming from electric trains.
92.02 %
31 votes

cleanlogicmath

Train's length

A 400 yard long train, travelling at 30 mph, enters a 4.5 mile long tunnel. How long will elapse between the moment the front of the train enters the tunnel and the moment the end of the train clears the tunnel?
9 minutes and 27.2727 seconds.
92.02 %
31 votes

interviewlogicmath

The Miller next took the company aside and showed them nine sacks of flour that were standing as depicted in the sketch. "Now, hearken, all and some," said he, "while that I do set ye the riddle of the nine sacks of flour. And mark ye, my lords and masters, that there be single sacks on the outside, pairs next unto them, and three together in the middle thereof. By Saint Benedict, it doth so happen that if we do but multiply the pair, 28, by the single one, 7, the answer is 196, which is of a truth the number shown by the sacks in the middle. Yet it be not true that the other pair, 34, when so multiplied by its neighbour, 5, will also make 196. Wherefore I do beg you, gentle sirs, so to place anew the nine sacks with as little trouble as possible that each pair when thus multiplied by its single neighbour shall make the number in the middle." As the Miller has stipulated in effect that as few bags as possible shall be moved, there is only one answer to this puzzle, which everybody should be able to solve.
The way to arrange the sacks of flour is as follows: 2, 78, 156, 39, 4. Here each pair when multiplied by its single neighbour makes the number in the middle, and only five of the sacks need be moved. There are just three other ways in which they might have been arranged (4, 39, 156, 78, 2; or 3, 58, 174, 29, 6; or 6, 29, 174, 58, 3), but they all require the moving of seven sacks.
91.77 %
30 votes

logicmath

A hiking group are on a five day expedition

On the first day they cover one quarter of the total distance. The next day they cover one quarter of what is left. The following day they cover two fifths of the remainder and on the fourth day half of the remaining distance. The group now have 14 miles left, how many miles have they walked?
68.962962 miles
91.77 %
30 votes