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Have you heard of the saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”? Well, with this infinite chocolate bar paradox experiment, it seems that you CAN have your cake (or chocolate!) and eat it too.
This simple illusion is sure to amaze everyone! But is this trick really the secret to infinite chocolate?
What you’ll need:
- A 4×6 chocolate bar
- A butter knife (NOTE FOR KIDS: Please use this under adult supervision.)
- A ruler or tape measure
How to do it:
Before you perform the following steps, measure the chocolate bar. Record this measurement and compare it with the measurement of the chocolate bar after you follow the steps below.
- Diagonally cut along the top corner of third block on one side as shown (see Fig 1), to the bottom corner of the third block on the opposite side.
- Next, cut along the length of the fourth column as shown (see Fig 1). The piece on the left can be labeled as A, and the one on the right can be labeled as B. The third piece can be labeled as C.
- Swap piece A and piece B as shown (see Fig 2 and 3).
- There you go! Now you have an extra block of chocolate (see Fig 5).
Is this trick really the secret to having infinite chocolate?
After you perform the steps above, measure the length of the chocolate bar. Did you notice any difference? Is the extra chocolate bar really extra?
If not, then where did it come from?
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How do you explain the infinite chocolate paradox?
The “extra block” is simply a trick, or a geometric illusion. If you only count the blocks in the chocolate bar, you will find the same number before and after the experiment. The chocolate bar almost looks the same as it did before you took away the extra block.
However, if you measure its length, you’ll notice that it’s actually smaller than it was before. Every time the chocolate bar is cut and the pieces rearranged, a small amount of chocolate goes missing. This small amount is equal to the size of the “extra” chocolate block, but spread out across the width of the chocolate bar, so it is harder to notice.
That means that there’s less chocolate in the bar than before the experiment, and the extra block isn’t really extra at all.