Mathematical Fun, Games and Puzzles - download pdf or read online

By Frohlichstein J.

ISBN-10: 0486207897

ISBN-13: 9780486207896

This enjoyable textual content, built by way of a math instructor, makes use of puzzles and video games to introduce the fundamental principles and operations of mathematics. Following the traditional center tuition curriculum, the e-book provides 418 difficulties and one hundred twenty illustrations that cover a variety of themes: averages, fractions, decimals, probabilities, powers, roots, and extra. Puzzles variety from effortless to tricky.

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Extra info for Mathematical Fun, Games and Puzzles

Example text

Eventually the process must stop because the factors are getting smaller each time. So every whole number can be written as a product of prime numbers in some way or other. There is a famous principle called the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic, which states that the decomposition of a number as a product of primes is unique (apart from the fact that we can jumble up the order of the factors). In other words, it is not possible to decompose a given number in two different ways, as long as you regard 12 = 2 × 2 × 3 = 3 × 2 × 2 as the ‘same’.

From here on we are going to get the same results as if we were dividing 1 by 7: the cycle of divisions repeats itself and the numbers in the answer will do the same. The key point that ensures that the decimal recurs is that sooner or later we hit the same remainder as we did at some earlier stage. Will this always happen? Is it clear that whatever division we are doing, we will eventually get a remainder which is the same as an earlier one? Suppose we are dividing m by n (where m and n are both whole numbers).

What is more, we can see that if the period is (p − 1)/2, then the expansion does recur after p − 1 digits. In this case p − 1 is a period of the expansion—it is just not the period, because it is not the shortest period. If you examine the table still further, you can see that for every fraction shown, the period is a factor of p − 1, so p − 1 is always a period of the expansion. This new guess, that the period is always a factor of p − 1, turns out to be correct and will be demonstrated in the coming sections.

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Mathematical Fun, Games and Puzzles by Frohlichstein J.

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