Complete Trivia Question List

Medium

What number comes next: 1, 11, 21, 1211, 111221, ...?

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Answer: 312211
More information: John Conway's "look and say" sequence has no digits other than 1, 2, and 3 in it, unless the seed number contains such a digit or a run of more than three of the same digit. A degenerate sequence appears with the seed of 22.

Easy

How many obvious/trivial factors does a natural number N have?

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Answer: 4 trivial factors.
More information: The positive +1 and +N and the negative -1 and -N.

Medium

What is Bertrand Russell's Erdős number?

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Answer: 3
More information: Russell collaborated very little and no Erdös number can be found using research articles. But, as pointed out by Sachi Sri Kantha at "the Erdös number project" Russell and Albert Einstein did coauthor the Russell-Einstein "Peace" Manifesto of 1955.

Hard

What Erdős number does Pierre-Simon Laplace have?

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Answer: Pierre-Simon Laplace has an Erdős number of at most 14!
More information: According to "The Erdös number project" a path to Laplace was found by Leonid Yanushevich giving the famous mathematician an Erdös number of at most 14.

Medium

What is the median Erdős number of Fields Medalists?

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Answer: 3
More information: Of course, as time passes, the smallest Erdős number that can still be achieved will necessarily increase, as mathematicians with low Erdős numbers die and become unavailable for collaboration.

Easy

What is Natalie Portman's Erdős number?

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Answer: 5
More information: Portman collaborated (using her birth name, Natalie Hershlag) with Abigail A. Baird, who has a collaboration path (Gazzaniga, Michael S. -> Victor, Jonathan D.) leading to Joseph Gillis, who has an Erdős number of 1.

Easy

Which mathematician has an Erdős number of zero (0)?

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Answer: Paul Erdős, of course!
More information: As the Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" in authorship of mathematical papers between mathematician Paul Erdős and another person it is only natural that Paul Erdős holds this position.

Easy

Which mathematician published more total pages of mathematics during his lifetime than any other mathematician in history?

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Answer: Leonhard Euler.
More information: Swiss-born Euler is held to be one of the greatest mathematicians in history. He made pioneering contributions to several branches of mathematics and introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation.

Easy

Which mathematician published more papers during his lifetime that any other mathematician in history?

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Answer: Paul Erdős
More information: Erdős published at least 1,525 mathematical papers during his lifetime. He engaged more than 500 collaborators and devoted most of his time to mathematics up until his death in 1996 at the age of 83 years old.

Easy

What is a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper positive divisors (excluding the number itself) called?

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Answer: A perfect number.
More information: You might also think of a perfect number as a number that is half the sum of all of its positive divisors, including itself! This definition is at least 2300 years old as it appears in Euclid's "Elements".

Easy

Is 8128 a perfect number?

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Answer: Yes, it is!
More information: Adding up the divisors of 8128: 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 16 + 32 + 64 + 127 + 254 + 508 + 1016 + 2032 + 4064 = 8128

Easy

Is 36 a perfect number?

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Answer: No, it's not!
More information: Adding up the divisors of 36: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 6 + 9 + 12 + 18 = 55

Hard

In which ancient South Asian language is the text of The Vedas written?

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Answer: Sanskrit - The religious poems originated in northwestern India in 1500-1000 BCE.

Medium

Off what country are the islands of Islay, Mull, and St. Kilda located - Ireland, Scotland, or Iceland?

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Answer: Scotland - There are over 790 islands in Scotland; around 130 are inhabited.



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