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Common Answers

Have you entered September's Common Answers?

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Puzzle - Answer

Consider an arrow in flight towards a target.

At any given moment of time, a snapshot could be taken of this arrow. In this snapshot, the arrow would not be moving. Let us now take another snapshot, leaving a very small gap of time between them. Again, the arrow is stationary. We can keep taking snapshots for each moment of time, each of which shows the arrow to be stationary. Therefore the overall effect is that the arrow never moves, however it still hits the target!

Where lies the flaw in the logic?

 [Ref: ZNPA]

Answer: The arrow clearly reaches the target.

This is a classic paradox, attributed to Zeno of Elea, a Greek philosopher from Italy. Great minds over the centuries have pondered this paradox, and the scope of a solution is beyond the space available here. It is not even clear that a solution to the paradox actually exists.

For more information, visit the Wikipedia article on Zeno's paradoxes.

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