Archive for prime number

Le Monde puzzle [#29]

Posted in R, Statistics with tags , , on July 29, 2011 by xi'an

This week, the puzzle from the weekend edition of Le Monde was easy to state: in the sequence (8+17n), is there a 6th power? a 7th? an 8th? If so, give the first occurrence. So I first wrote an R code for a function testing whether an integer is any power:

ispower=function(x){
ispo=FALSE
logx=log(x)
i=trunc(logx/log(2))
while((i>1)&&(!ispo)){
j=t=trunc(exp(logx/i))
while (t<x) t=j*t
ispo=(x==t)
if (!ispo){
j=t=j+1
while (t<x) t=j*t
ispo=(x==t)}
i=i-1}
list(is=ispo,pow=j)}

(The function returns the highest possible power.) Then I ran the thing over the first million of values of the sequence:

fib=8
for (j in 1:10^6){
fib=fib+17
tes=ispower(fib)
if (tes$is)
print(c(fib,tes$pow,log(fib)/log(tes$pow)))}

only to find that only the powers 2,3,6,10,11,19 were present among the first terms. Continue reading

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