Saturday, October 31, 2020

Breaking Down the Factorial

Breaking Down the Factorial

Factorial: It's Not Just For Integers

Let n be a positive number, where n > 0.   n! can be rewritten as:

n!

= n * (n - 1)!

= n * (n - 1) * (n - 2)!

= n * (n - 1) * (n - 2) * (n - 3)!

...

= n * (n - 1) * (n - 2) * (n - 3) * ... * k

where 0 ≤ k ≤ 1.   Note that 0! = 1.   Keep the loop multiplying n, n - 1, n - 2, n - 3, etc. until you a multiplying a number between 0! and 1! to the total.

For certain k:

0.25! ≈ 0.9064024771

0.50! = ≈ 0.8862269255

0.75! ≈ 0.9190625268

1! = 1

Examples

3! = 3 * 2 * 1! = 3 * 2 * 1 = 6

3.25! = 3.25 * 2.25 * 1.25 * 0.25! = 9.140625 * 0.25! ≈ 8.285085142

3.5! = 3.5 * 2.5 * 1.5 * 0.5! = 13.125 * √π ÷ 2 ≈ 11.6317284

3.75! = 3.75 * 2.75 * 1.75 * 0.75! = 18.046875 * 0.75! ≈ 16.58620654

4! = 4 * 3 * 2 * 1! = 4 * 3 * 2 * 1 = 24

4.25! = 4.25 * 3.25 * 2.25 * 1.25 * 0.25! = 38.847652625 * 0.25! ≈ 35.21161185

4.5! = 4.5 * 3.5 * 2.5 * 1.5 * 0.5! = 59.0625 * √π ÷ 2 ≈ 52.3427778

4.75! = 4.75 * 3.75 * 2.75 * 1.75 * 0.75! = 85.72265625 * 0.75! ≈ 78.78448106

Factorial Values of 0 to 1

Below is a chart are the values for 0 to 1, along with several approximation polynomials.  The value and polynomials have been determined using LibreOffice's Calc application.

Happy Halloween,

Eddie

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