Digit fifth powers: Euler Problem 30

August 23, 2017

(This article was first published on The Devil is in the Data, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Euler problem 30 is another number crunching problem that deals with numbers to the power of five. Two other Euler problems dealt with raising numbers to a power. The previous problem looked at permutations of powers and problem 16 asks for the sum of the digits of 2^{1000}.

Numberphile has a nice video about a trick to quickly calculate the fifth root of a number that makes you look like a mathematical wizard.

Euler Problem 30 Definition

Surprisingly there are only three numbers that can be written as the sum of fourth powers of their digits:

1634 = 1^4 + 6^4 + 3^4 + 4^4

8208 = 8^4 + 2^4 + 0^4 + 8^4

9474 = 9^4 + 4^4 + 7^4 + 4^4

As 1 = 1^4 is not a sum, it is not included.

The sum of these numbers is 1634 + 8208 + 9474 = 19316. Find the sum of all the numbers that can be written as the sum of fifth powers of their digits.

Proposed Solution

The problem asks for a brute-force solution but we have a halting problem. How far do we need to go before we can be certain there are no sums of fifth power digits? The highest digit is 9 and 9^5=59049, which has five digits. If we then look at 5 \times 9^5=295245, which has six digits and a good endpoint for the loop. The loop itself cycles through the digits of each number and tests whether the sum of the fifth powers equals the number.

largest <- 6 * 9^5
answer <- 0
for (n in 2:largest) {
    power.sum <-0
    i <- n while (i > 0) {
        d <- i %% 10
        i <- floor(i / 10)
        power.sum <- power.sum + d^5
    if (power.sum == n) {
        answer <- answer + n

View the most recent version of this code on GitHub.

The post Digit fifth powers: Euler Problem 30 appeared first on The Devil is in the Data.

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