By Martin Gardner

ISBN-10: 0883854481

ISBN-13: 9780883854488

This is often the 8th selection of Martin Gardner's Mathematical video games columns which have been showing per month in medical American on the grounds that December 1956.

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Extra resources for Mathematical Magic Show

Sample text

The method seems not to be well known. If a multiplier is divisible by 5 but not by 52 it adds one zero to the product. If divisible by 52 but not by 53 it adds two zeros, if divisible by 58 but not 54 it adds three zeros, and so on. Therefore, the number of terminal zeros of n! can be found by dividing n by 5, discarding the remainder, dividing the quotient by 5, discarding the remainder, and repeating this process until the quotient is less than 5. The sum of all the quotients is the number of zeros.

Wilson's theorem is one of the most beautiful and important theorems in the history of number theory, even though it is not an efficient way to test primality. There are many simply expressed but difficult problems about factorials that have never been solved. No one knows, for example, if a finite or an infinite number of factorials become primes by the addition of 1, or even how many become squares by the addition of 1. ) It was conjectured back in 1876 by H. , 5 ! -become squares when they are increased by 1.

In each of those ways there are three ways the second chair can be occupied, and so there are 4 x 3, or 12, ways to fill the first two chairs. For each of those ways there are two ways to occupy the third chair, and so there are 4 x 3 x 2, or 24, ways to fill the first three chairs. I n each of those 24 in- Factorial Oddities 51 stances there is only one person left to take the fourth chair. , or 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24. The same reasoning shows that 52 playing cards can be made into a deck in 52! different ways, a number of 68 digits that begins 806581 .