The optimal soup can puzzle is a fun mathematical exercise, but it also has real-world applications. For those in manufacturing and packaging, consideration needs to be used in determining the lowest-cost way to manufacture products, which means using the smallest amount of material necessary. Give it a try yourself in this problem from Presh Talwalkar of the MindYourDecisions YouTube channel:
You need a can that can hold volume V. Three can options all hold the same volume V: one is short and wide, one is equally tall as it is wide, and one is tall and narrow. Which can uses the least material? Watch the video below to learn how this problem is solved, or scroll down to get the answer.