Posts Tagged ‘math’

he’s (still) on math

February 5, 2010

What would a numerical representation of your DNA look like? Simply replacing the letters with numbers would make a very long string of only 4 numerals: 1=A, 2=C, 3=G, 4=T, it doesn’t really matter, but the chances of ever finding this string in pi (before you die) are almost nil. There’s always the possibility you just haven’t looked far enough yet, sure, but it’s more likely that the digits of pi are not normally distributed. I’m no theoretical mathematician, but the digits seem random—in such a way that no single numeral (try six) could go missing for the space your DNA requires. It would be very odd if, say, a billion trillion digits in, pi starts using only 4s, 5s, 8s, and 0s for the next, oh, three billion digits.

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encantado. igualmente.

February 1, 2010

So I started thinking about prime numbers, and why John Nash’s favorite prime would be 23. I think it’s because it’s the first prime number consisting of two consecutive primes: 2 and 3. I wonder if there’s a name for this kind of prime. The next one is 2,357, which shows you how common they are. Others include 3,137 (31 and 37), 5,711 (5, 7, and 11), 111,317 (11-13-17), 171,923 (17-19-23)… I found this site useful.

I found out the year of my birth, 1987, is a prime.

Then I started thinking about pi, how it goes on forever in a totally random, ever-changing sequence of digits. According to Cliff Pickover in Sex, Drugs, Einstein & Elves,

Recall that the digits of pi (in any base) not only go on forever but seem to behave statistically like a sequence of uniform random numbers. In short, if the digits of pi are normally distributed, somewhere inside pi’s string of digits is a very close representation for all of us. …We can even search for some of the first few consecutive runs using computer searches available on the Web. The string 123 is found at position 1924 counting from the first digit after the decimal point…1234 is found at position 13,807. 12345 is found at position 49,702, and so forth.

This means that you can eventually find your birthday in pi (Mine, 06111987, is found at position 148,775,398). Or your phone number, or your social security. Even a numerical representation of your DNA.

Sir or ma’am, you just got your mind blown.

(P.S. What’s the lowest number divisible by any number between 1 and 10? — 2,520)