How to Catch a Lion with only a Graduate Degree in Math or Physics

This is an all-time classic math gag that I wasn’t even aware of until Lee at Prime Puzzle sent it over. Ralph P. Boas Jr. under the pseudonym H. P├ętard published this lark, A Contribution To The Mathematical Theory Of Big Game Hunting. The subtitle should be How to Catch a Lion with only a Graduate Degree in Math or Physics. He outlines 9 methods from mathematics, 4 methods from theoretical physics, and 3 method from experimental physics.

Here is a an example from math:
The Bolzano-Weierstrass Method. Bisect the desert by a line running N-S. The lion is either in the E portion or in the W portion. Bisect this portion by a line running E-W. The lion is either in the N portion or in the S portion. We continue this process indefinitely, constructing a sufficiently strong fence about the chosen portion at each step. The diameter of the chosen portions approaches zero, so that the lion is ultimately surrounded by a fence of arbitrarily small perimeter.

Check out all the methods over at Lee’s site.

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