A few years ago, a mathematician specializing in fascinating magic squares launched a competition containing twelve puzzles with financial prizes and champagne at stake. The contest continues…
» While magic squares have been known and studied for many centuries, it is surprising that we still do not know today, for certain types of magic squares, which are the smallest possible squares! “, wrote in 2010 Christian Boyer, a fan of magic squares, in a press release.
He then launched a contest: Also, to advance these still unsolved problems, twelve prizes totaling €8,000 + 12 bottles of champagne are offered for the solutions to twelve puzzles (six large ones from €1,000 each and six small ones from €100 to €500 each) « . We are seven years after the launch of the latter and it is far from over.
» Four puzzles have been solved — two by a Japanese, two by a Frenchman. There are now eight left, with 6500 euros and 8 bottles of champagne to be won “, he wrote on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. It is essentially a question of demonstrating that it is possible (or impossible!) to build a square of three rows and three columns of which each integer is an integer squared.
But by the way, what is a magic square? As Christian Boyer writes on his website, a magic square is a square of side n (or of order n) in which we have managed to place all the numbers from 1 to n², so that the sums of the n rows, n columns and 2 diagonals are all equal. The man, fond of these puzzles, even holds a few firsts and a few records in this area.