A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates
 dhokarena56
 Posts: 179
 Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:52 pm UTC
A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
This is from strip 207, "What does XKCD mean?"
So, here's my question: is it possible to take this unimaginably vast number and describe it in a way that's more than just "the product of the Ackermann function with Graham's number as both inputs"? I think it is, but I don't know where to start. However, if any of you guys are bored...it might be fun.
So, here's my question: is it possible to take this unimaginably vast number and describe it in a way that's more than just "the product of the Ackermann function with Graham's number as both inputs"? I think it is, but I don't know where to start. However, if any of you guys are bored...it might be fun.
Come join Dadapedia the opensource Dadaist novel that anyone can edit.
 skeptical scientist
 closedminded spiritualist
 Posts: 6142
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
 Location: San Francisco
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
You could write out its decimal expansion. Have fun.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
 dhokarena56
 Posts: 179
 Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:52 pm UTC
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
skeptical scientist wrote:You could write out its decimal expansion. Have fun.
Except that even Graham's number itself is so big that it's got more digits than there are atoms in the universe.
Come join Dadapedia the opensource Dadaist novel that anyone can edit.
 Yakk
 Poster with most posts but no title.
 Posts: 11120
 Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
 Location: E pur si muove
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
At the scales that number exists at, lowinformation descriptions of numbers are few and far between. I'd say that the odds that there is a different way to describe that particular number using any reasonable number of bits that do not end up being A(G_64, G_64) dressed up in drag are low. Of course, I could be surprised!
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision  BR
Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
 skeptical scientist
 closedminded spiritualist
 Posts: 6142
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
 Location: San Francisco
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Similarly, your odds of getting struck by lightning indoors on a sunny day are so low that they are less than 1%!dhokarena56 wrote:skeptical scientist wrote:You could write out its decimal expansion. Have fun.
Except that even Graham's number itself is so big that it's got more digits than there are atoms in the universe.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson

 Posts: 10
 Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:50 pm UTC
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Here's a definition. Let W_IM = sup{numbers people have ever seen represented in any way} I will call this number Waterice Man's Number. Then W_IM = f(A(g_64,g_64)), for some unknown function f such that W_IM > A(g_64,g_64)
 gmalivuk
 GNU Terry Pratchett
 Posts: 26740
 Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
 Location: Here and There
 Contact:
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Yeah, and even that analogy pales in comparison.skeptical scientist wrote:Similarly, your odds of getting struck by lightning indoors on a sunny day are so low that they are less than 1%!dhokarena56 wrote:skeptical scientist wrote:You could write out its decimal expansion. Have fun.
Except that even Graham's number itself is so big that it's got more digits than there are atoms in the universe.
In order to get to a number smaller than the number of particles in the universe, you'd have to iterate "the number of digits in the number of digits in ... the number of digits in the xkcd number" more times than there are particles in the universe.

 Posts: 10
 Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:50 pm UTC
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Or in order to get a number smaller than the number of particles in the universe, you could try 1
 gmalivuk
 GNU Terry Pratchett
 Posts: 26740
 Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
 Location: Here and There
 Contact:
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Sure, but then we'd cut your arm off to teach you a lesson.
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Timefly wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TREE(3)
DUM DUM DUM DUM
wikipedia says: no page for TREE(3....did you mean TREE(3)?
but i've got that beat:
floor(1/ε), where ε is an infinitesimal.
 skeptical scientist
 closedminded spiritualist
 Posts: 6142
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
 Location: San Francisco
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, and even that analogy pales in comparison.
In order to get to a number smaller than the number of particles in the universe, you'd have to iterate "the number of digits in the number of digits in ... the number of digits in the xkcd number" more times than there are particles in the universe.
My analogy wasn't supposed to give any idea of the size of Graham's number—a hopeless task if there ever was one—but just point out that his analogy was a laughable underestimate. Your analogy is no better than his, as the difference between 10^{10^100}* and 10 ↑↑ 10^{100}** is already completely meaningless at the scale of g_{1} = 3 ↑↑↑↑ 3.
*A number with more digits than there are particles in the universe.
**A number where you'd have to iterate "the number of digits in the number of digits in ... the number of digits in this number" more times than there are particles in the universe to get a number smaller than the number of particles in the universe.
Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, there's a simple polynomialtime* algorithm for computing the last n digits in the decimal expansion of Graham's number.
*Well, technically it's constant time, as there are only log(Graham's number) digits to compute. But for all intents and purposes, it's a nonconstant polynomial time algorithm.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Hi there guys! Long time reader, first time poster here.
I've been thinking about the following back when the strip came out originally, but as this thread brought it back (almost) alive I finally decided to ask. (Although I'm probably off or somebody much smarter would have already pointed it out)
Is putting Graham's number into the Ackermann function really that large of a step, considering how both of them are/grow incomprehensibly huge already??
So we know the Ackermann function grows faster than any primitive recursive function, because of its recursive definition. And the definition of Graham's Number doesn't look too different, either. I've been of the impression that you don't get any significantly faster growth without resorting to uncomputable functions (BB).
Straight from Wikipedia:
[math]A(m, n) = 2\uparrow^{m2} (n+3)  3[/math]
[math]G = g_{64},\text{ where }g_1=3\uparrow\uparrow\uparrow\uparrow 3,\ g_n = 3\uparrow^{g_{n1}}3[/math]
So putting the two together gets you:
[math]A(g_{64}, g_{64}) = 2\uparrow^{g_{64}2} (g_{64}+3)  3 \approx 2\uparrow^{g_{64}} (g_{64})[/math]
Per the definition of [imath]x\uparrow^n y[/imath], isn't that approximately on the same order (very loosely speaking) as [imath]g_{65}[/imath]? (or maybe [imath]g_{66}[/imath]??)
I've been thinking about the following back when the strip came out originally, but as this thread brought it back (almost) alive I finally decided to ask. (Although I'm probably off or somebody much smarter would have already pointed it out)
Is putting Graham's number into the Ackermann function really that large of a step, considering how both of them are/grow incomprehensibly huge already??
So we know the Ackermann function grows faster than any primitive recursive function, because of its recursive definition. And the definition of Graham's Number doesn't look too different, either. I've been of the impression that you don't get any significantly faster growth without resorting to uncomputable functions (BB).
Straight from Wikipedia:
[math]A(m, n) = 2\uparrow^{m2} (n+3)  3[/math]
[math]G = g_{64},\text{ where }g_1=3\uparrow\uparrow\uparrow\uparrow 3,\ g_n = 3\uparrow^{g_{n1}}3[/math]
So putting the two together gets you:
[math]A(g_{64}, g_{64}) = 2\uparrow^{g_{64}2} (g_{64}+3)  3 \approx 2\uparrow^{g_{64}} (g_{64})[/math]
Per the definition of [imath]x\uparrow^n y[/imath], isn't that approximately on the same order (very loosely speaking) as [imath]g_{65}[/imath]? (or maybe [imath]g_{66}[/imath]??)
 gmalivuk
 GNU Terry Pratchett
 Posts: 26740
 Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
 Location: Here and There
 Contact:
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Yeah, I think I calculated once that A(g_{n},g_{n})<g_{n+1}topspin wrote:isn't that approximately on the same order (very loosely speaking) as [imath]g_{65}[/imath]?
 Yakk
 Poster with most posts but no title.
 Posts: 11120
 Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
 Location: E pur si muove
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
Topspin, there are a number of threads on this board that deal with "who has the larger number".
Some of them restrict you to various computable subsets of number descriptions, to rule out BB(n) and the like.
The functions described grow more than slightly faster than g_n.
Some of them restrict you to various computable subsets of number descriptions, to rule out BB(n) and the like.
The functions described grow more than slightly faster than g_n.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision  BR
Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
To get larger numbers, you can just increase the depth of the recursions:
c=g _{g_64}...
Define f(n,m)=g_f(n1,m) and f(0,m)=g_m, so f(1,64)=c, and f(g_64,64) is way larger than any nonrecursive use of g_n will ever be.
Note that it is pointless to increase the second value, as f(g_64,g_64)=f(g_64+1,64).
Define f^{k}(n,m)=f^{k1}(f^{k}(n,m),m) with f^{1}=f as defined above, so k is the level of recursion of the definition.
Look at f^{g_64}(64,64)
If that is not enough, build another recursion for f^{f(...)}, build a function that handles n levels of recursive definitions at once, use recursion on that and so on.
c=g _{g_64}...
Define f(n,m)=g_f(n1,m) and f(0,m)=g_m, so f(1,64)=c, and f(g_64,64) is way larger than any nonrecursive use of g_n will ever be.
Note that it is pointless to increase the second value, as f(g_64,g_64)=f(g_64+1,64).
Define f^{k}(n,m)=f^{k1}(f^{k}(n,m),m) with f^{1}=f as defined above, so k is the level of recursion of the definition.
Look at f^{g_64}(64,64)
If that is not enough, build another recursion for f^{f(...)}, build a function that handles n levels of recursive definitions at once, use recursion on that and so on.
 Yakk
 Poster with most posts but no title.
 Posts: 11120
 Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
 Location: E pur si muove
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
mfb, there are a number of threads on this board that deal with "who has the larger number".
The functions described therein grow more than slightly faster than your means of describing getting larger numbers. Go read them. In order, because the later pages won't make much sense.
The functions described therein grow more than slightly faster than your means of describing getting larger numbers. Go read them. In order, because the later pages won't make much sense.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision  BR
Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
And they might not make much sense anyway. Considering how thoroughly we chewed it up and pushed it, it's remarkable that there's sense to be made of it at all.
All Shadow priest spells that deal Fire damage now appear green.
Big freaky cereal boxes of death.
 Yakk
 Poster with most posts but no title.
 Posts: 11120
 Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
 Location: E pur si muove
Re: A project for the board: Finding Monroe's Number
WarDaft wrote:And they might not make much sense anyway. Considering how thoroughly we chewed it up and pushed it, it's remarkable that there's sense to be made of it at all.
Ya, but you can easily get to parts where you are dealing with ridiculously ridiculous (actually, I don't think I can use enough adjectives without referring back to a function in the threads in question, so two will do) growth rates before every post is unreadable.
Note that many posts will be junk in those threads, but distinguishing is difficult (much as determining which huge number is more huge...).
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision  BR
Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests