Questions on the factorial function, $n!=n\times(n-1)\times\cdots\times1$. Consider using the tag (gamma-function) if dealing with noninteger arguments.

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116
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How could we define the factorial of a matrix?

Suppose I have a square matrix $\mathsf{A}$ with $\det \mathsf{A}\neq 0$. How could we define the following operation? $$\mathsf{A}!$$ Maybe we could make some simple example, admitted it makes any ...
87
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1answer
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$n!$ is never a perfect square if $n\geq2$. Is there a proof of this that doesn't use Chebyshev's theorem?

If $n\geq2$, then $n!$ is not a perfect square. The proof of this follows easily from Chebyshev's theorem, which states that for any positive integer $n$ there exists a prime strictly between $n$ and ...
59
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6answers
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Finding the limit of $\frac {n}{\sqrt[n]{n!}}$

I'm trying to find $$\lim_{n\to\infty}\frac{n}{\sqrt[n]{n!}} .$$ I tried couple of methods: Stolz, Squeeze, D'Alambert Thanks! Edit: I can't use Stirling.
59
votes
3answers
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Why is $i! = 0.498015668 - 0.154949828i$?

While moving my laptop the other day, I ended up mashing the keyboard a little, and by pure chance managed to do a google search for i!. Curiously, Google's ...
56
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12answers
41k views

Do factorials really grow faster than exponential functions?

Having trouble understanding this. Is there anyway to prove it?
46
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15answers
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Which is larger? $20!$ or $2^{40}$?

Someone asked me this question, and it bothers the hell out of me that I can't prove either way. I've sort of come to the conclusion that 20! must be larger, because it has 36 prime factors, some of ...
45
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5answers
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Inequality from Chapter 5 of the book *How to Think Like a Mathematician*

This is from the book How to think like a Mathematician, How can I prove the inequality $$\sqrt[\large 7]{7!} < \sqrt[\large 8]{8!}$$ without complicated calculus? I tried and finally obtained ...
43
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3answers
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How come the number $N!$ can terminate in exactly $1,2,3,4,$ or $6$ zeroes but never $5$ zeroes? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Highest power of a prime $p$ dividing $N!$ How come the number $N!$ can terminate in exactly $1,2,3,4,$ or $6$ zeroes but never $5$ zeroes?
41
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3answers
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Is $n! + 1$ often a prime?

Related to another question (If $n = 51! +1$, then find number of primes among $n+1,n+2,\ldots, n+50$), I wonder: How often is $n!+1$ a prime? There is a related OEIS sequence A002981, however, ...
39
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3answers
515 views

Is $\lfloor n!/e\rfloor$ always even for $n\in\mathbb N$?

I checked several thousand natural numbers and observed that $\lfloor n!/e\rfloor$ seems to always be an even number. Is it indeed true for all $n\in\mathbb N$? How can we prove it? Are there any ...
37
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1answer
9k views

How many zeroes are in 100!

One common math puzzle I've seen around asks for how many zeros are in the product of "100!" Usually, the solution everyone gives goes something like try to match pairs of 5s and 2s that factor out ...
35
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13answers
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Prove that $\lim \limits_{n \to \infty} \frac{x^n}{n!} = 0$, $x \in \Bbb R$.

Why is $$\lim_{n \to \infty} \frac{2^n}{n!}=0\text{ ?}$$ Can we generalize it to any exponent $x \in \Bbb R$? This is to say, is $$\lim_{n \to \infty} \frac{x^n}{n!}=0\text{ ?}$$ This is ...
35
votes
3answers
791 views

Prove that there exist infinitely many integers $(n^{2015}+1)\mid n!$

I conjecture that there exist infinitely many integers $n$ such that $$(n^{2015}+1)\mid n!.$$ I have seen a simpler problem that there exist infinitely many integers $n$ such that $(n^2+1)\mid ...
33
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4answers
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Which is bigger: $9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9}}}}}}}}}$ or $9!!!!!!!!!$?

In my classes I sometimes have a contest concerning who can write the largest number in ten symbols. It almost never comes up, but I'm torn between two "best" answers: a stack of ten 9's (exponents) ...
32
votes
4answers
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How to find the factorial of a fraction?

From what I know, the factorial function is defined as follows: $$n! = n(n-1)(n-2) \cdots(3)(2)(1)$$ And $0! = 1$. However, this page seems to be saying that you can take the factorial of a ...
31
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12answers
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$\lim\limits_{n \to{+}\infty}{\sqrt[n]{n!}}$ is infinite

How do I prove that $ \displaystyle\lim_{n \to{+}\infty}{\sqrt[n]{n!}}$ is infinite?
31
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3answers
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$\sum k! = 1! +2! +3! + \cdots + n!$ ,is there a generic formula for this?

I came across a question where I needed to find the sum of the factorials of the first $n$ numbers. So I was wondering if there is any generic formula for this? Like there is a generic formula for ...
30
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3answers
533 views

Constructing $\mathbb N$ from the set of factorials

Let S be the set $\{0!, 1!, 2!, \ldots\}$. Is it possible to construct any positive integer using only addition, subtraction and multiplication, and using any element in S at most once? For example: ...
30
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1answer
801 views

A series problem by Knuth

I came across the following problem, known as Knuth's Series which originally was an American Mathematical Monthly problem. Prove that $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty ...
29
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4answers
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Showing that $\frac{\sqrt[n]{n!}}{n}$ $\rightarrow \frac{1}{e}$

Show:$$\lim_{n\to\infty}\frac{\sqrt[n]{n!}}{n}= \frac{1}{e}$$ So I can expand the numerator by geometric mean. Letting $C_{n}=\left(\ln(a_{1})+...+\ln(a_{n})\right)/n$. Let the numerator be called ...
27
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6answers
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$m!n! < (m+n)!$ Proof?

Prove that if $m$ and $n$ are positive integers then $m!n! < (m+n)!$ Given hint: $m!= 1\times 2\times 3\times\cdots\times m$ and $1<m+1, 2<m+2, \ldots , n<m+n$ It looks simple but ...
27
votes
9answers
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What is the purpose of Stirling's approximation to a factorial?

Stirling approximation to a factorial is $$ n! \sim \sqrt{2 \pi n} \left(\frac{n}{e}\right)^n. $$ I wonder what benefit can be got from it? From computational perspective (I admit I don't ...
26
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15answers
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Prove $0! = 1$ from first principles

How can I prove from first principles that $0!$ is equal to $1$?
26
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3answers
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$n!+1$ being a perfect square

One observes that \begin{equation*} 4!+1 =25=5^{2},~5!+1=121=11^{2} \end{equation*} is a perfect square. Similarly for $n=7$ also we see that $n!+1$ is a perfect square. So one can ask the truth of ...
25
votes
7answers
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Find $n$, where its factorial is a product of factorials

I need to solve $3! \cdot 5! \cdot 7! = n!$ for $n$. I have tried simplifying as follows: $$\begin{array}{} 3! \cdot 5 \cdot 4 \cdot 3! \cdot 7 \cdot 6 \cdot 5 \cdot 4 \cdot 3! &= n! \\ (3!)^3 ...
25
votes
5answers
8k views

Highest power of a prime $p$ dividing $N!$

How does one find the highest power of a prime $p$ that divides $N!$ and other related products? Related question: How many zeros are there at the end of $N!$? This is being done to reduce ...
25
votes
8answers
638 views

Prove that $(mn)!$ is divisible by $(n!)\cdot(m!)^n$

Prove that $$(n!)\cdot(m!)^n|(mn)!$$ I can prove it using Legendre's Formula, but I have to use the lemma that $$ ...
25
votes
1answer
887 views

Repeated Factorials and Repeated Square Rooting

I was talking with friends about silly questions involving what numbers you can get using only a single digit "3" and unary operations. We eventually conjectured that using only factorials and square ...
24
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11answers
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Division of Factorials

I have a partition of a positive integer $(p)$. How can I prove that the factorial of $p$ can always be divided by the product of the factorials of the parts? As a quick example $\frac{9!}{(2!3!4!)} ...
24
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4answers
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Solutions for x!/y!=(y+1)!

I was watching a video recently, and I saw how 10*9*8*7 was equal to 7*6*5*4*3*2*1, or to make it clearer, 10!/6!=7!. I was wondering if there were any other solutions, so I checked the web, to find ...
23
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5answers
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Visualizing the factorial

Often in basic mathematics, we can visualize things very easily, which I believe helps understanding (instead of just working out a number theoretical proof). For example: $$(n+1)^2 - n^2 = (n+1) +n$$ ...
23
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5answers
507 views

How to find $\lim_{n\to\infty}\frac{1!+2!+\cdots+n!}{n!}$?

How to evaluate the following limit? $$\lim_{n\to\infty}\dfrac{1!+2!+\cdots+n!}{n!}$$ For this problem I have two methods. But I'd like to know if there are better methods. My solution 1: Using ...
22
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1answer
844 views

are all $n!$ ($n>3$) the difference of two squares?

For the small values of n I have been able to check, it seems that for $n>3$, there exist whole numbers $x,y$ s.t. $n! = x^2 - y^2$. For example .. $4! = 5^2 - 1^2$ $5! = 11^2 - 1^2$ $6! = 27^2 ...
21
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6answers
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prove that $(2n)!/(n!)^2$ is even if $n$ is a positive integer

Prove that $(2n)!/(n!)^2$ is even if $n$ is a positive integer. For clarity: the denominator is the only part being squared. My thought process: The numerator is the product of the first n even ...
21
votes
4answers
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Factorial, but with addition [duplicate]

Is there a notation for addition form of factorial? $$5! = 5\times4\times3\times2\times1$$ That's pretty obvious. But I'm wondering what I'd need to use to describe $$5+4+3+2+1$$ like the ...
21
votes
1answer
565 views

Integer solutions of $x! = y! + z!$

There was an interesting problem asked about triples $(x,y,z)$ which are solutions of $$x! = y! + z!.$$ Here $(2,1,1)$ is a solution because $2! = 1! + 1!$, as are $(2,1,0)$ and $(2,0,1)$. Now I ...
20
votes
1answer
492 views

Factorial of a matrix: what could be the use of it?

Recently on this site, the question was raised how we might define the factorial operation $\mathsf{A}!$ on a square matrix $\mathsf{A}$. The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, involves the Gamma ...
19
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8answers
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Stirling's formula: proof?

Suppose we want to show that $$ n! \sim \sqrt{2 \pi} n^{n+(1/2)}e^{-n}$$ Instead we could show that $$\lim_{n \to \infty} \frac{n!}{n^{n+(1/2)}e^{-n}} = C$$ where $C$ is a constant. Maybe $C = ...
19
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5answers
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How best to explain the $\sqrt{2\pi n}$ term in Stirling's?

I recently showed my Algorithms class how to bound $\ln n! = \sum \ln n$ by integrals, thereby obtaining the simple factorial approximation $$ e \left(\frac{n}{e}\right)^{n} \leq n! \leq ...
19
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3answers
523 views

Making $121$ with five $0$s

So I say this puzzle online a few days ago and found it quite interesting. The original question was Make $120$ using only five $0$s. Well, I said to myself, this is utterly trivial. Note that ...
18
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4answers
724 views

Limit of series involving ratio of two factorials

$$ \sum^{\infty}_{j=0} \frac{(j!)^2}{(2j)!} = \frac{2 \pi \sqrt{3}}{27}+\frac{4}{3} $$ The above series is in a homework sheet. We're not expected to find the limit, just prove its convergence. ...
18
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3answers
7k views

Approximating the logarithm of the binomial coefficient

We know that by using Stirling approximation: $\log n! \approx n \log n$ So how to approximate $\log {m \choose n}$?
18
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1answer
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Can a double-factorial be a perfect square?

The title says it, basically. My question is $-$ for $ n \ge 2 $, can $n!!$ be a perfect square, where $!!$ represents the double-factorial? My conjecture is no, but I can't seem to be able to find a ...
17
votes
4answers
794 views

Prove that $n^{n+1} \leq (n+1)^{n} \sqrt[n]{n!}$

Let $n$ be a positive integer. I conjectured that the following inequality is true \begin{equation} n^{n+1} \leq (n+1)^{n} \sqrt[n]{n!} . \end{equation} Anyhow I could neither prove nor disprove it. I ...
17
votes
5answers
836 views

A strange combinatorial identity [duplicate]

In reading about A polarization identity for multilinear maps by Erik G F Thomas, I am led to prove the following combinatorial identity, which I cannot find anywhere, nor do I have any idea how to ...
17
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4answers
481 views

Interpreting $n!$ as the volume of a $1 \times 2 \cdots \times n$ box

Q. Are there relationships or proofs that are illuminated by viewing $n!$ as the volume of a $1 \times 2 \cdots \times n$ box in $n$-dimensions? I cannot think of any, but perhaps they ...
17
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2answers
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what is the remainder when $1!+2!+3!+4!+\cdots+45!$ is divided by 47?

Can any one please tell the approach or solve the question what is the remainder when $1!+2!+3!+4!+\cdots+45!$ is divided by $47$? I can solve remainder of $45!$ divided by $47$ using Wilson's ...
16
votes
13answers
4k views

Can the factorial function be written as a sum?

I know of the sum of the natural logarithms of the factors of n! , but would like to know if any others exist.
16
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3answers
488 views

Approximating $100!$

I participated in an Estimathon (a speed contest of Fermi problems) not long ago. It works as follows. Contestants are given questions and they must give a closed range $[a,b]$ which should contain ...
16
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4answers
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Factorial of infinity

So, I've read in this article that: $$\zeta'(0) = \log\sqrt\frac{1}{2\pi}$$ And that: $$e^{-\zeta'(0)} = 1\cdot2\cdot3\cdot\ldots\cdot\infty = \infty! = \sqrt{2\pi}$$ I found this result very ...