next up previous
Next: Circular Track Up: Problems Previous: Passing Boats

Crawling Insects

Four bugs--A, B, C and D--occupy the corners of a square 10 inches on a side. A and C are male and are located at opposite corners. B and D are female, and are located at the two remaining corners. Simultaneously A crawls directly toward B, B toward C, C toward D and D toward A. If all four bugs crawl at the same constant rate, they will describe four congruent logarithmic spirals which meet at the center of the square. How far does each bug travel before they meet? The problem can be solved without calculus.


Carl Lee
Wed Apr 21 08:26:07 EDT 1999