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by William Armstrong
6 Oct 2012
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Centrifuge Balancing Puzzle

Genre: Science Puzzle Rating: 3 - Easy to Medium Source: Unknown
Brain Functions: Lateral Thinking, Analysis Hint    Solution

You are a biochemist working with a 12-slot centrifuge. This is a device that has 12 equally spaced slots around a central axis, in which you can place chemical samples you want centrifuged. When the machine is turned on, the samples spin around the central axis and get subjected to forces greater than one 'gravity.'

To ensure that the centrifuge process works properly, tubes must be distributed in the 12 slots such that the centrifuge is balanced evenly. For example, if you wanted to run 4 samples, you could place them in slots 12, 3, 6 and 9 (assuming the slots are numbered from 1 to 12 like a clock).

Problem: Can you use the centrifuge to process 5 samples?

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