  # There are nine metal blocks. 1 metal block is slightly lighter than the other 8. If you have a balance scale find.....

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There are nine metal blocks.

1 metal block is slightly lighter than the other 8.

If you have a balance scale find the minimum times will you have to weigh to find the lighter block? posted Jan 4, 2017

After grouping the metal blocks into 3 groups of 3, the three groups can be named A, B, & C.
Now A and B is weighed
Case 1: A is lighter => A has the lighter block
Case 2: B is lighter => B has the lighter block
Case 3: Balanced => C has the lighter block

In any case weighing 2 of the 3 from either A, B, & C gives further 2 cases
Case 1: Either one goes up or down => The one that goes up is the lighter one.
Case 2: Balanced => the other block is lighter.

So a minimum of 2 steps is sufficient to identify the lighter block of metal. answer Jan 4, 2017

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