# The answer to life is 42

## 42 Quotes (8 quotes)

## 42. The Meaning of Life, the Universe, & Everything - THUNK

## 42 (number)

Unfortunately, no one knows what the question is. Thus, to calculate the Ultimate Question, a special computer the size of a small planet was built from organic components and named "Earth". This appeared first in the radio play and later in the novelization of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The fact that Adams named the episodes of the radio play "fits", the same archaic title for a chapter or section used by Lewis Carroll in The Hunting of the Snark , suggests that Adams was influenced by Carroll's fascination with and frequent use of the number. The fourth book in the series, the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish , contains 42 chapters.

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Douglas Adams said it was the answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. He meant it as a joke, but a new book shows how the number 42 has played a significant role in history.

In Douglas Adams' sci-fi series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," a pair of programmers task the galaxy's largest supercomputer with answering the ultimate question of the meaning of life, the universe and everything. After 7. Only then do the programmers realize that nobody knew the question the program was meant to answer. Now, in this week's most satisfying example of life reflecting art, a pair of mathematicians have used a global network of , computers to solve a centuries-old math puzzle that just happens to involve that most crucial number: Modern mathematicians who revisited the puzzle in the s quickly found solutions when k equals many of the smaller numbers, but a few particularly stubborn integers soon emerged. The two trickiest numbers, which still had outstanding solutions by the beginning of , were 33 and — you guessed it — As you can see , the answer is super, super long.

Login or Subscribe Newsletter. This plot by Andrew Sutherland depicts the computation times for each of the ,plus jobs that his team ran on Charity Engine's compute grid. Each dot in the plot represents 25 jobs plotted according to their median runtime, with purple dots representing "smooth" values of d those with no large prime divisors , and blue dots representing non-smooth values of d — the algorithm handles these two cases differently. Sandi Miller Department of Mathematics September 10, Sandi Miller Email: sandim mit. A team led by Andrew Sutherland of MIT and Andrew Booker of Bristol University has solved the final piece of a famous year old math puzzle with an answer for the most elusive number of all:

For decades, scientists have wondered whether each of the numbers from 0 to could be represented as the sum of three cubes, where a cube is the same number multiplied together three times two cubed equals eight. Forty-two was the last number without a proven solution—until now. The Charity Engine is a computing platform that takes unused processing power from , home computers to produce a kind of world-wide supercomputer. Mathematicians since Louis J. Scientists had found a, b, and, c for all numbers less than except for proven exceptions that would have no solution, as well as 33 and Most of the exceptions come from a separate proof that all cubes are either multiples of nine or one integer away from a multiple of nine on the number line. That means that three cubes summed together could only result in numbers three or less units away from multiples of nine—you could never add three cubes up to a number four or five units away from a multiple of nine.

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