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Dec 2018MENACE in fiction
Christmas card 2018
Nov 2018Christmas (2018) is coming!
Sep 2018Runge's Phenomenon
Jul 2018World Cup stickers 2018, pt. 3
Jun 2018World Cup stickers 2018, pt. 2
May 2018A bad Puzzle for Today
Apr 2018Building MENACEs for other games
Mar 2018A 20,000-to-1 baby?
World Cup stickers 2018
Jan 2018Origins of World War I
Christmas (2017) is over
New machine unfriendly £1 coin
Vending machines identify coins by measuring their width. Circular coins have the same width in every direction, so designers of vending machines do not need to worry about incorrectly rotated coins causing a blockage or being misidentified. But what about seven-sided 20p and 50p coins?
Perhaps surprisingly, 20p and 50p coins also have a constant width, as show by this video. In fact, the sides of any regular shape with an odd number of sides can be curved to give the shape a constant width.
Today, a new 12-sided £1 coin was unveiled. One reason for the number of sides was to make the coin easily identified by touch. However, as only polygons with an odd number of sides can be made into shapes of constant width, this new coin will have a different width when measured corner to corner or side to side. This could lead to vending machines not recognising coins unless a new mechanism is added to correctly align the coin before measuring.
Perhaps an 11-sided or 13-sided design would be a better idea, as this would be easily distinguishable from other coins by touch which being a constant width to allow machines to identify it.
The end of coins of constant width
New machine unfriendly £1 coin, pt. 2
World Cup stickers 2018, pt. 3
World Cup stickers 2018, pt. 2
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