April 25, 2012

A Tale About Geometric Progression

Geometric progression is a mathematical concept wherein a series of numbers are arranged in a multiplicative order. Each next number of a geometric progression is attained by multiplying the previous number by a common number. This common number remains the same through out the geometric progression.

But there was a time when geometric progression was not well-known to the common men. In those days there used to be a filthy rich King. The King used to bless his slaves with a lot of money when ever there was an event that made him happy. He was a man of his word.

One day he had a mathematical query and he announced that he will give anything to anyone who answers to his maths problem. His announcement was much enticing to all, since everyone knew he is a man of his word.

In those days, there was a young boy who lived in one of the villages governed by the King. He made his way to the King's Court and asked the King that if he is able to answer the King's query will the King give him one penny on the same day and keep on doubling it afterwards.

The King was quite astonished to hear this. For he thought that one penny is a very humble amount and even if it was doubled it would mean two pennies tomorrow and four pennies the day after that. The King with all his wealth failed to understand a very simple mathematical concept that if you keep progressing an amount...very soon it will be quite unmanageable. The King quickly agreed to the young boy's request.

The boy solved the query and took the one penny home. He knew his maths will very soon make him very rich. He came back tomorrow and took two instead of one and went away. He came back again...took four and went away. He kept on coming back for double the amount he got previously. After a few months the King had to regret what he had agreed upon. The amount became unmanageable even for the wealthy King. The boy's mathematical trick had worked wonders.

The principle of Geometric Progression is a tricky one. For the young students this mathematical concept can be easily remembered by keeping this King's story in mind.