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A007673 Number of coins needed for ApSimon's mints problem.
(Formerly M1109)
1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 28, 51, 90 (list; graph; refs; listen; history; text; internal format)



Suppose there are two types of coins (genuine and counterfeit) with different weights, only one of the weights known, and n independent mints each making coins of only one of the two types. Then a(n) is the minimum number of coins needed to determine in two weighings which mints are making counterfeit coins. - Charles R Greathouse IV, Jun 16 2014

Guy and Nowakowski give a(6) <=38 and a(7)<=74. Li improves this to a(6) <=31 and a(7)<=64. a(6)=28 is given by exhaustive search of all variants up to 27 coins and the solution (0,1,2,1,8,10), (1,2,2,5,5,0) with 1+2+2+5+8+10=28 coins. David Applegate finds a(7)=51 with (12,12,7,7,1,2,0), (12,0,8,2,7,3,2). - R. J. Mathar, Jun 20 2014

The unique solution for a(8)=90 is (27,1,12,12,6,1,0,4), (3,15,13,3,7,6,6,4) as determined by exhaustive search. There are a total of three solutions for a(7)=51: the one given above, (15,10,6,1,2,1,0), (0,10,9,7,4,4,2), and (15,6,9,1,4,3,1), (0,10,6,7,4,4,2). - David Applegate, Jul 03 2014


Hugh ApSimon, Mathematical Byways in Ayling, Beeling and Ceiling, Oxford University Press (1991).

N. J. A. Sloane and Simon Plouffe, The Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, Academic Press, 1995 (includes this sequence).


Table of n, a(n) for n=1..8.

R. K. Guy and R. Nowakowski, ApSimon's mints problem, Amer. Math. Monthly, 101 (1994), 358-359.

Tanya Khovanova, Attacking ApSimon's Mints, arXiv:1406.3012 [math.HO], 2014.

Tanya Khovanova, ApSimon’s Mints, Math Blog, June 2014.

Tanya Khovanova, ApSimon’s Mints Investigation, Math Blog, December 2014.

Xue-Wu Li, A new algorithm for ApSimon's Mints Problem, J. Tianjin Normal University 23 (2) (2003) 39-42.

R. J. Mathar, ApSimon's mint problem with three or more weighings, arXiv:1407.3613 [math.CO], 2014.


A pair of coin vectors gives a solution if every nonempty subset sum has a different ratio. (1,2,1,0) and (4,0,1,1) is a solution for 4 mints using 4+2+1+1=8 coins because 1:4, 2:0, 1:1, 0:1, (1+2):(4+0)=3:4, (1+1):(4+1)=2:5, (1+0):(4+1)=1:5, (2+1):(0+1)=3:1, (2+0):(0+1)=2:1, (1+0):(1+1)=1:2, (1+2+1):(4+0+1)=4:5, (1+1+0):(4+1+1)=2:6, (2+1+0):(0+1+1)=3:2, (1+2+0):(4+0+1)=3:5, (1+2+1+0):(4+0+1+1)=4:6 are all distinct ratios.


Sequence in context: A036615 A006808 A006727 * A182725 A029907 A005682

Adjacent sequences:  A007670 A007671 A007672 * A007674 A007675 A007676




N. J. A. Sloane, Robert G. Wilson v, Aug 01 1994


Solutions for a(6) and a(7) from Robert Israel and David Applegate, Jun 20 2014

a(8) from David Applegate, Jul 03 2014



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Last modified April 23 18:45 EDT 2017. Contains 285329 sequences.