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## #1 2005-11-02 17:41:23

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

### 4,8,15,16,23,42....

The myserious sequence in the tv show "LOST". Any idea what they could mean?

A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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## #2 2005-11-02 17:50:00

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

Read up one whats been tried so far http://www.d.kth.se/~dicander/lost.html

No sequence has been found yet. Hmmm...matrices maybe?

A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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## #3 2005-11-02 21:16:11

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,684

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

In binary: 100,1000,1111,10000,10111,101010

That has a pattern of sorts. Makes it look more like a collection of favorite numbers.

42 is famous as the answer to life, the universe and everything.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #4 2006-03-22 13:31:26

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

A fascinating pattern my sister discovered in the numbers.

If you write the numbers repeatedly, and label them sequentially, when the numbers appear, the number above it always matches, except for the first number. :-(

The question in my mind is, what are the odds of this happening by accident? Makes for an interesting problem.

Ok, say we write six random numbers, 5, 2, 103, 37, 58  and write them repeatedly and label them in the same fashion. The number labels count up and eventually each of the numbers will be reached, one at a time. Even if one of the numbers is 76,424 it will eventually be reached, and 76,424 will be amoung the six possible numbers to appear above it.  When it is reached, the odds of the number above matching are 1 out of 6, since the above numbers will be one of the six numbers. So the odds of the number above matching is 1 in 6, the odds of this happening 5 times are (1/6)^5 or 1 in 7776.

However, the numbers above are not being randomly selected, they are looping. So is a coincidence entirely random? Is it a 1 in 6 chance or does the fixed motion of the numbers effect the probabilty?

And of course, the numbers matching in correct order will only happen if they are written from least to greatest. The chances of that occuring, I suppose, is 1 out of the factorial of 6 but I don't think we need to consider that. They were probably written in that order to be neat.

What do you think?

Last edited by mikau (2006-03-22 13:53:31)

A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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## #5 2006-03-22 18:28:52

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

http://www.research.att.com/~njas/sequences/?q=4%2C8%2C15%2C16%2C23%2C42&language=english&go=Search

I've heard that there way no reasoning to the sequence, just random numbers to make people waste their time on.

"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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## #6 2006-03-22 20:08:00

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,684

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

But what if ...

(I wonder how many times those numbers are chosen in lotteries?)

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #7 2006-03-23 04:10:39

mathsyperson
Moderator
Registered: 2005-06-22
Posts: 4,900

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

Hang on...

In Ricky's link, the number 108 appears at the end of that list. Where did that come from?

(If it's a Lost Series 2 spoiler thingy, then don't say. )

Why did the vector cross the road?
It wanted to be normal.

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## #8 2006-03-23 06:27:36

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

If your familiar with the show, every 108 minutes the numbers must be entered into the computer - or else...  108 is also the sum of the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

But how about the pattern I mentioned. Does my probability reasoning seem correct to you? If it is, thats a 1 in 7776 chance. Probably not a coincidence.

Last edited by mikau (2006-03-23 07:05:09)

A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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## #9 2006-03-23 10:08:33

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,684

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

If you would like to know, in the very latest episode Hurley t

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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## #10 2006-03-23 11:18:51

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

Hurley t? I demand an explanation!

A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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## #11 2006-04-06 07:48:18

Kristy
Guest

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

I dont think its just a mystery, my boyfriend had the sequence on his math test as extra credit. I doubt a college professor would put something on a test if it was just something on a tv show. So when he gets his test back, ill tell you all the answer!

## #12 2006-04-06 10:49:23

mikau
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

Cool! Though I'll be suprised if he gets it right. I've scanned the internet and not even professional mathematicians have found a pattern yet, as far as I know. But if his teacher knows the answer then I WANT TO HEAR IT! :-D

A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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## #13 2006-04-06 18:08:44

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

I dont think its just a mystery, my boyfriend had the sequence on his math test as extra credit. I doubt a college professor would put something on a test if it was just something on a tv show.

One of my calc professors put extra credit questions such as, "What is the only mammal that can fly" and "What is the only chemical found in nature in solid, liquid, and gas forms."

This just goes to show that people always have to think there is some great mystery.  They can't accept things that are dull and boring.  The answer, "It has no meaning" is not exciting enough, so it is rejected.

"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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## #14 2006-08-26 00:18:13

Devantè
Real Member
Registered: 2006-07-14
Posts: 6,400

### Re: 4,8,15,16,23,42....

0 = 4 - 7 - 1 - 7 - 19 (see my pyramid for details)
4 + 7 + 1 + 7 = 19 (see my pyramid for details)

2004 - 8 - 15 = 1981 = 16 + 23 + 1942

If you use the difference between the numbers you get some amazing results, here are a few.

If you add or subtract the number differences you get the anchor years 1942 & 2004.
If you take 1942 + 23 + 16 you get 1981.
If you take 2004 - 8 - 15 you get 1981.
1981 is when Pearl video was dated & when hatch was first manned.
If you take 4 the difference between 4 & 8, 1981 + 4 = 1985.
1985 year of the Incident.
If you take 7 the difference between 8 & 15, 1981 + 7 = 1988
1988 year Rousseau's crash on the island.
If you take 7 the difference between 16 and 23, 1981 - 7 = 1974.
1974 year Oceanic Airlines was founded.
If you take 4 + 7 = 11 1981 - 11 = 1970.
1970 the beginning of Dharma Initiative.
You can add or subtract any number combinations with 4 7 1 7 & 19 and get more events on the timeline.

Here is something else of interest. The timeline is 62 years 1942-2004 the number difference 4+7+1+7+19=38 take 1981-62-38=1881.
1881 is the year the Black Rock disappeared.

I remember there was something else about the numbers that had to do with genetics, but I just can't remember.

Last edited by Devanté (2006-08-26 00:24:08)

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