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Moving Ladder Constant

N.B. A detailed on-line essay by S. Finch was the starting point for this entry.

What is the longest ladder which can be moved around a right-angled hallway of unit width? For a straight, rigid ladder, the answer is $2\sqrt{2}$. For a smoothly-shaped ladder, the largest diameter is $\geq 2(1+\sqrt{2}\,)$ (Finch).

See also Moving Sofa Constant, Piano Mover's Problem


Finch, S. ``Favorite Mathematical Constants.''

© 1996-9 Eric W. Weisstein