INTRODUCTION (continued)    
Sherlock Holmes Beekeeper and Analytical Chemist    
Time (no indication Holmes can measure tenths of a second) Posts Speed
16 seconds 7 53.69318
23 seconds 10 53.35968
25 seconds 11 54.00000
39 seconds 17 53.49650
55 seconds 24 53.55372
Probably a lot to be said for just one post every 2 seconds    
Thirty-nine seconds seems longer than the text suggests. Did Holmes round off? mis-calculate? Are the posts not
60 yards apart? A teacher might want to construct (or ask students to build)  a web page for students to explore
the underlying Diophantine equation (next page).
There's a different problem with Holmes' archenemy. In The Final Problem Professor Moriarty is described as
"He is a man of good birth and excellent education, endowed by nature with a phenomenal mathematical
faculty. At the age of twenty-one he wrote a treatise upon the Binomial Theorem, which has had a European
vogue. On the strength of it he won the Mathematical Chair at one of our smaller universities, and had, to all
appearance, a most brilliant career before him."
In The Valley of Fear Moriarty is also credited with "Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an
Asteroid, a book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man
in the scientific press capable of criticizing it?"
There has been some very informed speculation over the years about models for Moriarty.
© 2018 Peter F. Zoll. All rights reserved.
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