Postprint version. Published in European Journal of Combinatorics, Volume 32, Issue 5, July 1, 2011, pages 657-661.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejc.2011.02.002.
The conclusion of the classical ham sandwich theorem for bounded Borel sets may be strengthened, without additional hypotheses – there always exists a common bisecting hyperplane that touches each of the sets, that is, that intersects the closure of each set. In the discrete setting, where the sets are finite (and the measures are counting measures), there always exists a bisecting hyperplane that contains at least one point in each of the sets. Both these results follow from the main theorem of this note, which says that for n compactly supported positive finite Borel measures in Rn, there is always an (n − 1)-dimensional hyperplane that bisects each of the measures and intersects the support of each measure. Thus, for example, at any given instant of time, there is one planet, one moon and one asteroid in our solar system and a single plane touching all three that exactly bisects the total planetary mass, the total lunar mass, and the total asteroidal mass of the solar system. In contrast to the bisection conclusion of the classical ham sandwich theorem, this bisection-and-intersection conclusion does not carry over to unbounded sets of finite measure.