- algorithm algorithms approximation arithmetic art Babylonian beauty binary binomial coefficients book review bracelets carnival Carnival of Mathematics change chess chess board combinatorics consecutive cookies counting decadic decimal derivatives diagrams divisibility divisors education expansion factorization fibonacci floor foundations fractal fractions game games GIMPS graph graphs Haskell history humor hyperbinary idempotent integers integral interactive intuition irrational irrationality Ivan Niven latex logic Mersenne metric multiplication negative notation number numbers pi prime primes programming proof puzzle P vs NP rectangles repunit review sequence squares triangular video visualization
### Blogroll

### Fun

### Reference

### Categories

- algebra (14)
- arithmetic (35)
- books (25)
- calculus (6)
- challenges (46)
- combinatorics (6)
- complex numbers (3)
- computation (30)
- convergence (9)
- counting (28)
- famous numbers (38)
- fibonacci (14)
- fractals (12)
- games (17)
- geometry (27)
- golden ratio (8)
- group theory (3)
- humor (6)
- induction (7)
- infinity (17)
- iteration (15)
- links (70)
- logic (6)
- meta (37)
- modular arithmetic (10)
- number theory (47)
- open problems (11)
- paradox (1)
- pascal's triangle (8)
- pattern (54)
- people (19)
- pictures (28)
- posts without words (3)
- primes (23)
- probability (3)
- programming (15)
- proof (42)
- puzzles (10)
- recursion (8)
- review (17)
- sequences (26)
- solutions (24)
- teaching (9)
- trig (3)
- video (18)

### Archives

- December 2013 (1)
- October 2013 (1)
- July 2013 (1)
- June 2013 (1)
- May 2013 (1)
- April 2013 (3)
- March 2013 (3)
- February 2013 (2)
- January 2013 (5)
- December 2012 (3)
- November 2012 (4)
- October 2012 (5)
- September 2012 (1)
- August 2012 (4)
- July 2012 (1)
- June 2012 (6)
- May 2012 (2)
- April 2012 (3)
- March 2012 (1)
- February 2012 (4)
- January 2012 (5)
- December 2011 (1)
- November 2011 (7)
- October 2011 (4)
- September 2011 (6)
- July 2011 (2)
- June 2011 (4)
- May 2011 (5)
- April 2011 (2)
- March 2011 (4)
- February 2011 (1)
- January 2011 (1)
- December 2010 (1)
- November 2010 (4)
- October 2010 (2)
- September 2010 (1)
- August 2010 (1)
- July 2010 (1)
- June 2010 (2)
- May 2010 (3)
- April 2010 (1)
- February 2010 (6)
- January 2010 (3)
- December 2009 (8)
- November 2009 (7)
- October 2009 (3)
- September 2009 (3)
- August 2009 (1)
- June 2009 (4)
- May 2009 (5)
- April 2009 (4)
- March 2009 (2)
- February 2009 (1)
- January 2009 (7)
- December 2008 (1)
- October 2008 (2)
- September 2008 (7)
- August 2008 (1)
- July 2008 (1)
- June 2008 (1)
- April 2008 (5)
- February 2008 (4)
- January 2008 (4)
- December 2007 (3)
- November 2007 (12)
- October 2007 (2)
- September 2007 (4)
- August 2007 (3)
- July 2007 (1)
- June 2007 (3)
- May 2007 (1)
- April 2007 (4)
- March 2007 (3)
- February 2007 (7)
- January 2007 (1)
- December 2006 (2)
- October 2006 (2)
- September 2006 (6)
- July 2006 (4)
- June 2006 (2)
- May 2006 (6)
- April 2006 (3)
- March 2006 (6)

### Meta

# Category Archives: famous numbers

## Mersenne primes and the Lucas-Lehmer test

Mersenne numbers, named after Marin Mersenne, are numbers of the form . The first few Mersenne numbers are therefore , , , , , and so on. Mersenne numbers come up all the time in computer science (for example, is … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, computation, famous numbers, iteration, modular arithmetic, number theory, primes
Tagged lehmer, lucas, Mersenne, prime, test
3 Comments

## Happy Tau Day!

Happy day! , of course, is the fundamental circle constant which represents the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its radius. (In the past people have also used the symbol “” to represent half of ; perhaps you’ve heard of … Continue reading

## Irrationality of pi: the integral that wasn't

And now for the punchline! Today we’ll show that, for large enough values of , completing the proof of the irrationality of . First, let’s show that is positive when . We know that is positive for . But I … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, calculus, convergence, famous numbers, proof, trig
Tagged inequality, integral, irrational, Niven, pi
8 Comments

## Irrationality of pi: the impossible integral

We’re getting close! Last time, we defined a new function and showed that and are both integers, and that . So, consider the following: The first step uses the product rule for differentiation (recalling that and ); the last step … Continue reading

Posted in famous numbers, proof
Tagged Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, integral, irrational, Ivan Niven, pi, proof
4 Comments

## Irrationality of pi: curiouser and curiouser

I’ve been remiss in posting here lately, which I will attribute to Christmas and New Year travelling and general craziness, and then starting a new semester craziness… but things have settled down a bit, so here we go again! Since … Continue reading

Posted in famous numbers, proof
Tagged derivatives, irrationality, Ivan Niven, pi, proof
10 Comments

## Irrationality of pi: derivatives of f

In my previous post in this series, we defined the function and showed that . Today we’ll show the surprising fact that, for every positive integer , although and are not necessarily zero, they are always integers. (The notation means … Continue reading

Posted in calculus, famous numbers, proof
Tagged derivatives, irrationality, Ivan Niven, pi, proof
10 Comments

## Irrationality of pi: the unpossible function

Recall from my last post what we are trying to accomplish: by assuming that is a rational number, we are going to define an unpossible function! So, without further ado: Suppose , where and are positive integers. Define the function … Continue reading

Posted in calculus, famous numbers, proof
Tagged irrational, Ivan Niven, pi, proof, symmetric
7 Comments

## Irrationality of pi

Everyone knows that —the ratio of any circle’s diameter to its circumference—is irrational, that is, cannot be written as a fraction . This also means that ‘s decimal expansion goes on forever and never repeats …but have you ever seen … Continue reading

## Carnival of Math #48, and Monday Math Madness #25

The 48th Carnival of Mathematics is posted at Concrete Nonsense. My favorite posts include Foxmath’s post about a strange iterated sequence involving pi and this amazing picture of a fractal cabbage. Also near and dear to my heart is Mark … Continue reading

Posted in challenges, counting, famous numbers, fractals, links
Tagged carnival, counting, fractal cabbage, monads, pi
1 Comment

## Predicting pi: pretty graphs and convergents

Recall the challenge I posed in a previous post: given the sequence of integers , what can you learn about (assuming you didn’t know anything about it before)? The answer, as explained in another post, is that you can learn … Continue reading

Posted in convergence, famous numbers, pattern, sequences
Tagged approximation, convergents, graphs, pi
5 Comments