Sugary Proportions

Published by patrick honner on

I tried out some organic sugar from Trader Joe’s recently, and since I had some plain old Domino sugar left over, I mixed the two together.  The result got me thinking about ways to visualize proportions.  Since I’ve been thinking about mixture problems recently, I thought I’d create my own.

Here we have two kinds of sugar–plain old Domino on the left, and Trader Joe’s Organic on the right.

Two Sugars (2)

I mixed up some of the white sugar and some of the brown sugar, and got this.

Sugar Mix

Now, just by looking at the above mixture, can you tell what proportion of the above sugar is white?

Categories: Challenge

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


Alan · November 22, 2010 at 9:43 am

I thought of it as four sections. 2 of white, 2 of brown. Since brown seemed dominant at first glance, it must have been over 50%. 50% is 1/2. So out of 4th’s, it’d be 3/4 brown sugar. Or it could be 2/3 brown sugar. So I went with 1/4 white sugar. Could Photoshop or MS Paint determine the color of the mixture?

Ahmed Gouda · November 23, 2010 at 1:34 am

Looks to me like the brown cup has more sugar to me, so I went with 1/3. It could’ve been 1/4 but I figured if I was holding this poll, I’d want to throw people off with 1/3. Anyways, I guessed the brown cup had more sugar because it became darker near the center, and the white doesn’t. Dunno if that even really means something, but the logic seemed pretty sound to me. More sugar. Darker color.

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