Everyone’s heard of the number 3.141592…, right?
And you probably know that is not a rational number (i.e., a quotient of two integers, like 7/3). Unlike a rational number, whose decimal expansion is eventually periodic, if you look at the digits of they seem random,
But are they really? No one really knows. There’s a paper that explores the statistics of these digits using the first 22.4 trillion digits of . Does any finite sequence of k digits (say, for example, the 4-digit sequence 2016) occur just as often as any other sequence of the same length (say, 1492), for each k? When the answer is yes, the number is called ‘normal.’ That is, a normal number is a real number whose infinite sequence of digits is distributed uniformly in the sense that each digit has the same natural density 1/10, also all possible 100 pairs of digits are equally likely with density 1/100, and all 1000 triplets of digits equally likely with density 1/1000, and so on.
The following simple problem is unsolved:
Conjecture: is normal.