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A Task in Multiplication., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2489, 12 August 1890
A Task in Multiplication.
A problem that at a glance- seems easy enough to tempt many a schoolboy to spend a portion of his vacation m an endeavor to solve it, appeared recently, and is as follows : : — Take fche number fifteen. Multiply it by itself and you have 225, Now multiply 225. by itself, • then multiply that product by itself, and so on until fifteen products have been multiplied by themselves m turn. The question aroused considerable interest, and the best mathematicians, after struggling with the problem long enough to sec how much labor was entailed m the solution made the following discouraging' report upon it:—• To perform the operation would require about 600tOOO*000 figures. If they can be made at the rate of 100 a minute, a person working ten hours a day for 300 days m each year would be twenty-eight years about it. If m multiplying lie should make a row of ciphers, as he does m other figures, the number of figures tused would be more than 683,9a&m That would, be the
! precise number of figures used if the product of the left-haW figure m each mul*iplicand, by each figure of the multiplier was ,'ilways a single figure, but as is most frequently, and yet not always, two figures,'the method employed to obtain the foregoing result cannot be accurately applied. Assuming that the cipher is used on an average once m ten times, 475,000,000 approximates the actual number.
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900812.2.14
A Task in Multiplication., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2489, 12 August 1890
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