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Supernatural Numbers

  • Donald E. Knuth

Abstract

“God,” said Leopold Kronecker [10], “made the integers; everything else is the work of man.” If Kronecker was right, it would be heresy to claim that any noninteger numbers are supernatural in the sense that they have miraculous powers. On the other hand, mathematicians generally refer to the nonnegative integers {,1,2,...} as the set of natural numbers; therefore if any numbers are supernatural, they are also natural. The purpose of this essay is to discuss the representation of natural numbers that are “super” in the sense that they are extremely large; many superscripts are needed to express them in conventional notation.

Keywords

Cost Function Natural Number Recursive Method Binary Method Recursive Scheme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Wadsworth International 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald E. Knuth
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford UniversityUSA

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