# Measure the diagonal of a brick

You are given three identical bricks (cuboids) and a ruler (scale) as shown in the figure. You have to find the length of the brick's diagonal without using any formula and by using the ruler only once. How will you do it?

(You can't break or change any physical properties of the material provided and you can't use your own material. There is no unique answer to this puzzle, and various solutions may be found useful.)

• While your questions are generally well-received, you have not made an attempt to choose a correct answer. It would only be fair to the answerers if you chose the best answer as the correct answer by clicking on the small tick below the answer you like. Thank you! – CodeNewbie Aug 16 '15 at 16:59
• When you say "using scale only once" do you mean "measuring only once"? – JonTheMon Aug 17 '15 at 14:00
• Yes exactly that. – prog_SAHIL Aug 22 '15 at 2:57

Align all the bricks in the same orientation and put them together in an L shape like this:

brick
brickbrick


Then the body diagonal can be measured in the "missing fourth brick" directly, unobscured by material.

• Much better solution than mine. – Nautilus Aug 16 '15 at 18:11
• good one. +1 for simplicity – kavi temre Aug 17 '15 at 9:34
• Simple,Well Explained and absolutely right. – prog_SAHIL Aug 22 '15 at 2:58

This can be measured directly and easily as shown.

• +1 for the nice illustration, but it is identical to Vašeks answer. – Carl Löndahl Aug 16 '15 at 16:51
• @CarlLöndahl - Ah yes I see. Please feel free to give my upvotes to Vašek Potoček. – chasly from UK Aug 16 '15 at 18:24
• great chasly. +1 for decoration – kavi temre Aug 17 '15 at 9:34

Make sure the first brick's longest two edges face upwards. Then put the other two on top of it so that they're congruent to each other, with the other edge also on the bottom and adjust them until the longest edges of both will form the diagonal with some of the length left over (hold/support the top bricks to stop them falling off if necessary). Finally measure the distance between the point where the leftover begins and the opposite corner on the other top brick.

If holding/supporting them is illegal, you can put the two "top bricks" first, put the first one mentioned on top, adjust it and measure. Pic below:

• You really want to explain it better, I only understood (read deciphered) it after reading it 15 times. The pictures don't help much either. – Rohcana Aug 17 '15 at 11:56