Interesting Esoterica

The Strong Law of Small Numbers

Article by Richard K. Guy
  • Published in 1988
  • Added on
This article is in two parts, the first of which is a do-it-yourself operation, in which I'll show you 35 examples of patterns that seem to appear when we look at several small values of n, in various problems whose answers depend on n. The question will be, in each case: do you think that the pattern persists for all n, or do you believe that it is a figment of the smallness of the values of n that are worked out in the examples? Caution: examples of both kinds appear; they are not all figments! In the second part I'll give you the answers, insofar as I know them, together with references.

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Other information

key
TheStrongLawOfSmallNumbers
type
article
date_added
2022-07-05
date_published
1988-09-14

BibTeX entry

@article{TheStrongLawOfSmallNumbers,
	key = {TheStrongLawOfSmallNumbers},
	type = {article},
	title = {The Strong Law of Small Numbers},
	author = {Richard K. Guy},
	abstract = {This article is in two parts, the first of which is a do-it-yourself operation, in which I'll show you 35 examples of patterns that seem to appear when we look at several small values of n, in various problems whose answers depend on n. The question will be, in each case: do you think that the pattern persists for all n, or do you believe that it is a figment of the smallness of the values of n that are worked out in the examples?

Caution: examples of both kinds appear; they are not all figments!

In the second part I'll give you the answers, insofar as I know them, together with references.},
	comment = {},
	date_added = {2022-07-05},
	date_published = {1988-09-14},
	urls = {https://www.maa.org/sites/default/files/pdf/upload{\_}library/22/Ford/Guy697-712.pdf},
	collections = {easily-explained,fun-maths-facts,the-act-of-doing-maths},
	url = {https://www.maa.org/sites/default/files/pdf/upload{\_}library/22/Ford/Guy697-712.pdf},
	year = 1988,
	urldate = {2022-07-05}
}