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Beast Numbers

  1. May 26, 2007 #1

    I got a problem:

    I want to find out the first ten apocalyptical numbers.By definition, a number of the form 2^n that contains the digits 666 (i.e., the beast number) is called an apocalyptic number.

    I tried to write a short program with mathematica:

    l := Table[2^n, {n, 1, 1000}]
    a := IntegerDigits[l]
    Select[a, MatchQ[a, {6, 6, 6}], 10]

    However, the result is always {}
    What's wrong with the program above?

    Can somebody give me an advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2007 #2
    First a general comment: in this case the use of SetDelayed := will cause reduced performance, because it is unnecessary to recalculate the table each time it is refered to.

    Now, notice that the second argument of Select should be a function. If you execute:
    Code (Text):

    It returns False, because a (a table of list of digits of integers) does not literally match {6,6,6}. What we really want is a function that compares each element of a with {6,6,6}, which could be given as:
    Code (Text):

    l := Table[2^n, {n, 1, 1000}]
    a := IntegerDigits[l]
    Select[a, MatchQ[#, {6, 6, 6}]&, 10]
    (the # is the formal parameter of the pure function and the & delimits its body).

    Now executing the code I gave still returns the empty set, and this is because we are only checking for numbers that match 666, not those of the form:

    *digits* 666 *more digits*

    To do this in mathematica we use a BlankSequence (two underscores). This works to find your numbers:
    Code (Text):

    l = Table[2^n, {n, 1, 1000}];
    a = IntegerDigits[l];
    Select[a, MatchQ[#, {__,6, 6, 6,__}]&, 10]
    but since we are matching a pattern rather then testing a boolean, it makes more sense to use Cases:

    It might be nice to return the results as integers, rather then lists, and write the program in one line:

    Code (Text):
    Last edited: May 26, 2007
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