Saturday, 4 March 2017

The Number Spiral

The number spiral is all natural numbers arranged in a spiral.

If we remove all the numbers in this spiral that are not prime and leave only the prime numbers, we see that a pattern forms.

The prime numbers seem to line up along diagonal lines. Expanded, diagonal lines are clearly visible.

This type of spiral is known as the Ulam spiral, as it was devised by mathematician Stanislaw Ulam.

After many tests, the prime numbers are found to line up along diagonals with the function:

The number spiral has another interesting quality.

The numbers in the black boxes are square numbers. The even square numbers move in a diagonal to the top-left. The odd square numbers move in a diagonal to the bottom-right.

1 comment:

  1. Megan Schmidt got the #mtbos into these last summer, realizing that lots of patterns are interesting in the spiral. Lots of number theory going on here! You might enjoy her posts: