A (continuous) necklace is simply an interval of the real line colored measurably with some number of colors. A well-known application of the Borsuk-Ulam theorem asserts that every k-colored necklace can be fairly split by at most k cuts (from the resulting pieces one can form two collections, each capturing the same measure of every color). Here we prove that for every k ≥1 there is a measurable (k+3)-coloring of the real line such that no interval can be fairly split using at most k cuts. In particular, there is a measurable 4-coloring of the real line in which no two adjacent intervals have the same measure of every color. An analogous problem for the integers was posed by Erdos in 1961 and solved in the affirmative by Keränen in 1991. Curiously, in the discrete case the desired coloring also uses four colors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Mathematics
- Measurable coloring
- Splitting necklaces