Dynamics of the iterated map $n \to 3n+1$ if $n$ is odd and $n \to \frac n2 $ if $n$ is even. Generalizations to $n \to 3n-1 $ or $ n \to 5n+1$ or even to $n \to pn+q$ . Other names are "$3x+1$-problem","syracuse problem". If you have a question, please be specific to your detail. MSE is not ...

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121
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7answers
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What is the importance of the Collatz conjecture?

I have been fascinated by this problem since I first heard about it in high school. From the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collatz_problem: Take any natural number $n$. If $n$ is ...
29
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is $3$ the multiplicative coefficient in the Collatz conjecture?

What's the importance of multiplying an odd number by $3$ and adding $1$, instead of just adding $1$? After all, if you add $1$ to an odd number then it turns into an even number. Here is a example ...
28
votes
1answer
393 views

Uses of “Collatz induction”?

The Collatz conjecture is equivalent to the following "induction principle": If $P(0) \land P(1) \land (\forall{x} P(3 \cdot x + 2) \implies P(2 \cdot x + 1)) \land (\forall x P(x) \implies P(2 \cdot ...
25
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible to describe the Collatz function in one formula?

This is related to Collatz sequence, which is that $$C(n) = \begin{cases} n/2 &\text{if } n \equiv 0 \pmod{2}\\ 3n+1 & \text{if } n\equiv 1 \pmod{2} .\end{cases}$$ Is it possible to describe ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

What does proving the Collatz Conjecture entail?

From the get go: i'm not trying to prove the Collatz Conjecture where hundreds of smarter people have failed. I'm just curious. I'm wondering where one would have to start in proving the Collatz ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

The $5n+1$ Problem

The Collatz Conjecture is a famous conjecture in mathematics that has lasted for over 70 years. It goes as follows: Define $f(n)$ to be as a function on the natural numbers by: $f(n) = n/2$ if $n$ ...
12
votes
2answers
910 views

Thoughts on the Collatz conjecture; integers added to powers of 2

I've had a thought about the Collatz conjecture (the 3n+1 problem). Suppose some number, C, diverges under the iteration. We first note that C must be odd because if C were even it would be halved ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Longest known sequence of identical consecutive Collatz sequence lengths?

I've just written a simple java program to print out the length of a Collatz sequence, and found something I find remarkable: Consecutive sequences of identical Collatz sequence lengths. Here is some ...
8
votes
1answer
506 views

Required reading on the Collatz Conjecture

I am currently writing a paper on 3x+1 and realized that despite having enough knowledge to work on a singular facet of the problem I lack a more broad understanding of the problem. I have seen the ...
8
votes
1answer
757 views

What are possibilities to disprove the Collatz Conjecture?

I was thinking about the Collatz Conjecture yesterday, and as opposed to trying to prove it, I was considering what would make the conjecture false. There were only two cases I could think of: We ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is the 3x+1 problem solved? [closed]

I found an article by Peter Schorer from June 29,2015 which is claming to give a solution of the 3x+1 problem. Are there remarks from any mathematicians if this is correct or not?
7
votes
2answers
445 views

Trying mathematical induction with $3n+1$ conjecture

Collatz's Conjecture is also known as the $3n+1$ conjecture. Well I thought since the conjecture is dealing with natural numbers so we might as well try mathematical induction and see why it doesn't ...
7
votes
1answer
582 views

Collatz $4n+1$ rule?

I noticed something about the Collatz Conjecture, (I was literally obsessed with trying to prove it). I of course have NO intention of trying to prove it, clearly it is beyond my reach and I hope not ...
7
votes
2answers
192 views

How was the $3x+1$ problem checked up to $5 \times 2^{60}$?

The Wikipedia article for the Collatz conjecture states that: The conjecture has been checked by computer for all starting values up to $5 \times 2^{60} \approx 5.764 \times 10^{18}$. It gives ...
7
votes
2answers
397 views

Prime numbers in Collatz sequences

This question/request is twofold. First, if this is a stupid question or if it has been addressed before, please say so (bluntness is optional), and I will crawl back into my cave... My question: is ...
7
votes
2answers
330 views

Could this odd insight help explain part of the difficulty in proving the Collatz Conjecture?

Background: Here's a crash course on the Collatz Conjecture. Basically, you take a number and if it is even you divide it by two. If a number is odd, you multiply it by three and then add one. You ...
6
votes
5answers
408 views

Is Collatz' conjecture the only stable solution of its type?

The Collatz Conjecture is well known with the sequence $$f(n) = \begin{cases} n/2 &;\text{if } n \equiv 0 \pmod{2}\\ k\,n+1 &; \text{if } n\equiv 1 \pmod{2} \end{cases}$$ and $k=3$; the ...
6
votes
2answers
96 views

Does the $5x + 1$ sequence for 7 reach a power of 2 or does it get stuck in a period?

This is much like the $3x + 1$ iteration, except that if $x$ is odd, you do $5x + 1$ [and $\frac{x}{2}$ if $x$ is even]. If $x = 7$, then we have 7, 36, 18, 9, 46, 23, 116, 58, 29, 146, 73, 366, 183, ...
6
votes
3answers
554 views

Probability and the Collatz Problem

A long time ago I was messing around with the Collatz problem and I stumbled across a "proof" that the iterations will converge. I was too embarrassed to show anyone, and I recently just remembered ...
6
votes
3answers
95 views

How can I prove that an iterated transformation describes all odd integers?

This is a question where I want to find "a best" way (or even different ways) to prove my assumption - just to widen my understanding of similar problems and how to approach them. It's a question of ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

What is the simplest collatz like problem that is undecidable?

I have read that problems resemblings collatz have been shown to be undecidable. Conway proved that apparantly but Im not sure if the proof was constructive. So I wonder : What is the simplest ...
6
votes
1answer
81 views

Does this extension of the Collatz sequence converge for n=550?

The Collatz function, or $3n + 1$ function is well known. A heuristic argument that most inputs should converge with repeated application of the function is as follows. With probability 1/2 an input ...
6
votes
2answers
677 views

The nonexistence of the Collatz-“1-cycle” by an elementary proof - am I missing something?

The so-called "1-cycle" in the Collatz-problem was already disproved by Ray Steiner 1977. However, he used transcendental number theory to achieve that, and Lagarias commented, it is surprising that ...
5
votes
2answers
279 views

Is this property of the Collatz sequence interesting?

As an amateur playing around with the Collatz conjecture, I've stumbled on something I haven't seen mentioned before, and that may or may not be noteworthy. Suggested by Gottfried Helms, here's a ...
5
votes
3answers
290 views

Partitions of the odd integers

Understanding the nature of the odd integers is a necessity to prepare oneself to work on the unsolved problems in number theory, such as the Collatz $3n+1$ problem. I hope to demonstrate how the ...
5
votes
2answers
599 views

What are some reasonable things to prove about the Collatz Conjecture?

I am writing an undergraduate paper on the $3n+1$ problem, and I am looking for some theorems related to the problem that would be reasonable for someone with my mathematical background to prove. I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

How is this fractal produced?

It is stated here: Iterating the above optimized map $$f(z)=\frac{1}{4}(1 + 4z - (1 + 2z)\cos(\pi z))$$in the complex plane produces the Collatz fractal. The point of view of iteration on ...
5
votes
2answers
195 views

A general question about the Collatz Conjecture and finding that integer that doesn't work

I apologize if this question gets down-voted ahead of time. I've been working on the Collatz Conjecture all day with Python, because that is the language I'm most familiar with (I'm not a CS student, ...
5
votes
2answers
362 views

About the Collatz conjecture

I worked on the Collatz conjecture extensively for fun and practise about a year ago (I'm a CS student, not mathematician). Today, I was browsing the Project Euler webpage, which has a question ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Has the Collatz Conjecture been proven to be unprovable? [closed]

This paper, from a peer-reviewed journal, purports to prove that the Collatz Conjecture is unprovable. If it’s valid, why has it not received more attention? If it’s invalid, what is the flaw, and ...
4
votes
1answer
284 views

Divisibility of $2^n - 1$ by $2^{m+n} - 3^m$.

For what values of $m,n$ natural, do $2^n - 1$ is divisible by $2^{m+n} - 3^m$? Thank you very much.
4
votes
1answer
369 views

How could Collatz conjecture possibly be undecidable?

I wonder how the collatz conjecture could possibly be undecidable? Since let's say it's undecidable, then that means that no counter example can ever be found, and that to me seems to imply that non ...
4
votes
3answers
90 views

Examples of “eventually reaches y under iteration” other than the Collatz problem

The Collatz conjecture states that iteratively applying the map $$f(n) = \begin{cases} n/2 &\text{if } n \equiv 0 \pmod{2}\\ 3n+1 & \text{if } n\equiv 1 \pmod{2} .\end{cases}$$ to any ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Collatz cycle necessary condition.

Has it been established that a nontrivial m-cycle of the Collatz conjecture on the positive integers would require two consecutive raises (i.e., if $\{x_1, x_2, \ldots x_n\}$ is the odd positive ...
4
votes
2answers
234 views

Is anything known about the size of the smallest number with stopping time $n$

Last couple of days I've been thinking about the Collatz conjecture, and now I wonder if any relation is known between $n$ and the smallest number with stopping time $n$. So for example, let's say ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

How to find the integer solutions of $\frac{2^m-1}{2^{m+x}-3^x}=2a+1$? [duplicate]

Is there a way to find all integer triplets of $(x, m, a)$ for the following equation. $$\frac{2^m-1}{2^{m+x}-3^x}=2a+1$$
4
votes
2answers
126 views

How many ways to reach $1$ from $n$ by doing $/13$ or $-7$?

How many ways to reach $1$ from $n$ by doing $/13$ or $-7$ ? (i.e., where $n$ is the starting value (positive integer) and $/13$ means division by $13$ and $-7$ means subtracting 7)? Let the number ...
4
votes
0answers
103 views

Is this a valid statement that would imply the Collatz Conjecture?

Let $f$ denote the Collatz transformation: $f(x) = \left\{ \begin{array}{ll} {x\over 2} & \quad x\equiv 0 \mod 2 \\ 3x+1 & \quad x \equiv 1\mod 2 ...
3
votes
2answers
62 views

Behavior of a Collatz-like mod-4 sequence: Do some numbers increase without limit?

Define \begin{eqnarray} f(n) &=& (n-1)^2 \; \textrm{if} \; (n \bmod 4) = 1\\ f(n) &=& \lfloor n/4 \rfloor \; \textrm{otherwise} \end{eqnarray} and let $f^k(n) = f(f( \cdots (n) \cdots ...
3
votes
2answers
447 views

Prerequisite reading before studying the Collatz $3x+1$ Problem

Let's assume I am starting college and have just finished calculus. I've been reading a bit online about the Collatz $3x+1$ Problem and find it to be very intriguing. However, a lot of what I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

arithmetic sequence $8n+1$ and the collatz conjecture

Is it a known result that if for all $n$ the collatz sequence of $8n+1$ lead to $1$, all natural numbers will?
3
votes
1answer
352 views

Determining the Collatz Series as a Tree of $\forall\mathbb{N}$

I'm proposing a proof for the Collatz Conjecture; and should like to take answers in terms of validation or contradiction to the arguments proposed. The conjecture states, where; $$ T(n) = ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

What would be the implications of (dis)proving the Collatz conjecture? [closed]

The Collatz conjecture is one of the most famous unsolved problems in mathematics. It essentially states that, for any positive integer, if you repeatedly apply the function ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

Where can I find out more on Collatz-conjecture like sequences?

I'm interested in Collatz-conjecture (the 3n+1 problem) like sequences. I'm interested in any literature that contains information about problems that are divided into similar cases. I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
339 views

Is this statement stronger than the Collatz conjecture?

$n$,$k$, $m$, $u$ $\in$ $\Bbb N$; Let's see the following sequence: $x_0=n$; $x_m=3x_{m-1}+1$. I am afraid I am a complete noob, but I cannot (dis)prove that the following implies the ...
2
votes
3answers
592 views

Collatz conjecture: Largest number in sequence with starting number n

This question is inspired by a CS course, and it only tangentially relates to the actual content of the exercise. Say in a hailstone sequence (Collatz conjecture) you start with a number n. For any ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Is this first order version of the Collatz conjecture decidable in peano arithmetic?

Let $\phi(x)$ be a first order formula in the language of arithmetic with one free variable $x$. Consider the sentence $\psi_\phi$, defined as: $$\phi(0)\wedge \phi(1) \wedge (\forall x \phi(x) \to ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Generalizations of the Collatz to $(mx \pm 1)/2$ for $m=181$ gives two nontrivial cycles; are more examples $m$ known?

Generalizing the Collatz $T_{3,+}(n) = \left\{ \begin{array} {cl} {3n+1 \over 2} & \text{ when } n=2k+1 \\ \frac n{2^B} & \text{with maximal } B \gt 0 \text{ where } 2^B | n \end{array} ...
2
votes
2answers
405 views

Are there any explanations for these patterns in the Collatz sequences?

I've been messing around with the Collatz sequences a bit, and have come across a few patterns - I was wondering if there are any known explanations for these patterns. The first is the plot of ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

The longest known cycle length of generalized collatz $5x+1$ trajectory

The generalized collatz $5x+1$ trajectory, if $n$ is even then divide $n$ by $2$, and if $n$ odd then multiply $n$ by $5$ and then add $1$. For example if $n=3$, we have ...