One of the unsolved problem
s in math
ematics. A number theory question
Does there exist a rectangular box whose every edge and diagonal has integer length?
- By a rectangular box, I mean a six-sided polyhedron whose sides are all rectangles.
- The diagonals of a box include the side diagonals and the main diagonal.
- A side diagonal joins opposite corners of a side.
- A main diagonal joins opposite corners of a box.
To date, no such rational boxes are known to exist
. It is an open question
as to whether any exist at all. As a side note, it is trivial
ly easy to come up with an integer main diagonal. Let a be an odd number. Then a^2 + ((a^2-1)/2)^2 is the square of (a^2+1)/2, which is odd. Then (((a^2+1)/2)^2-1)/2 and (((a^2+1)/2)^2+1)/2 are the other two numbers of a pythagorean triple
. So the length of the diagonal would be (((a^2+1)/2)^2+1)/2 (if it were formed in this way), and the equation would look like:
a^2+((a^2-1)/2)^2+((((a^2+1)/2)^2-1)/2)^2 = ((((a^2+1)/2)^2+1)/2)^2
C. Stanley Ogilvy, Tomorrow's Math: Unsolved Problems for the Amateur. Oxford University Press
. New York
: 1972. Page 120.