Euler’s Phi Function from Wells’ Curious and Interesting Numbers

In 1986, David Wells, a mathematician specializing in number theory, wrote a delicious little book, entitled The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers. If you enjoy dabbling in math, each numerical entry, although brief, is a gateway into all sorts of realms of an incredibly diverse field. Although it goes without saying that without... Continue Reading →

Why Perfect Numbers Only End in 6 or 8

The search for answers to simple questions like "why is the sky blue? " and "why are there selfish acts" is a nice way to bite into a fair amount of science and philosophy, respectively. In math the same is true. Why do even-perfect numbers only end in 6 or 8? If you're fortunate enough to have a child... Continue Reading →

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