KALININGRAD IS A Russian seaport named for a Soviet revolutionary. But in the 18th century, it was called Königsberg and was in the German kingdom of Prussia. And it was a math problem.

Königsberg stretched across both banks of the river Pregel, and it included two islands in the middle of the river. Seven bridges connected these islands and the rest of Königsberg. People wondered if they could walk across all seven bridges without crossing any of them more than once.

Then, in 1736, the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (pronounced oiler) showed it was impossible. The trouble was that each landmass—the two islands and the two river banks—were touched by an odd number of bridges. If each was touched by an even number, a continuous walk across all the bridges would have been doable.

Read more: Google’s New Vacation App Was 280 Years in the Making | WIRED

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Published by Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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Google’s New Vacation App Was 280 Years in the Making | WIRED

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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