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Laserbeam

Problem 202

Published on 05 July 2008 at 02:00 pm [Server Time]

Three mirrors are arranged in the shape of an equilateral triangle, with their reflective surfaces pointing inwards. There is an infinitesimal gap at each vertex of the triangle through which a laser beam may pass.

Label the vertices A, B and C. There are 2 ways in which a laser beam may enter vertex C, bounce off 11 surfaces, then exit through the same vertex: one way is shown below; the other is the reverse of that.

There are 80840 ways in which a laser beam may enter vertex C, bounce off 1000001 surfaces, then exit through the same vertex.

In how many ways can a laser beam enter at vertex C, bounce off 12017639147 surfaces, then exit through the same vertex?


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