Thompson's Lamp

From: Norman Samish <>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 00:06:43 -0700

I've been looking for an idiot savant to answer this question: Perhaps you've heard of Thompson's Lamp. This is an ideal lamp, capable of infinite switching speed and using electricity that travels at infinite speed. At time zero it is on. After one minute it is turned off. After 1/2 minute it is turned back on. After 1/4 minute it is turned off. And so on, with each interval one-half the preceding interval. Question: What is the status of the lamp at two minutes, on or off? (I know the answer can't be calculated by conventional arithmetic. Yet the clock runs, so there must be an answer. Is there any way of calculating the answer?)
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: incarn81
  Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2003 11:36 PM
  Subject: Joining


  I'm mainly an idoit, sometimes a savant. I get most of the references that I've read so far, but don't really have a deep technical background in any one area.
  Can't wait to catch up on the archives!
Received on Mon Oct 20 2003 - 03:09:07 PDT

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