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LostInParadise's avatar

Should combination locks be renamed permutation locks?

Asked by LostInParadise (27909points) May 29th, 2016

In mathematics, a combination is the selection from a range of choices where the order in which the items are chosen does not matter. For example, if you are shopping, the order in which you choose the items does not make a difference. For the typical combination lock, the order in which the numbers are selected makes a difference. A lock that opens with 37–10-23 will not open with 23–10-37. The concepts of combination and permutation are frequently being taught now in high school, so in the interest of clarity, wouldn’t a name change be appropriate?

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4 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

99% of people would not understand it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Sure. Best of luck in your renaming effort. I have better things to do.

zenvelo's avatar

Apples and oranges. Opening a lock is not a mathematical operation. It is using a mechanical sequence.

It is called a combination because it combines three operations sequentially.

dappled_leaves's avatar

A combination lock that opens with 37–10–23 will also open with 38–9-22 or 35–12-24, etc., etc., with each number usually having a range of +/- 2. Perhaps it can remain a combination lock on that basis.

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