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Questions tagged [tetration]

Tetration is iterated exponentiation, just as exponentiation is iterated multiplication. It is the fourth hyperoperation and often produces power towers that evaluate to very large numbers.

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1answer
21k views

Can $x^{x^{x^x}}$ be a rational number?

If $x$ is a positive rational number, but not an integer, then can $x^{x^{x^x}}$ be a rational number ? We can prove that if $x$ is a positive rational number but not an integer, then $x^x$ can not ...
74
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4answers
6k views

Are these solutions of $2 = x^{x^{x^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot}}}}}$ correct?

Find $x$ in $$ \Large 2 = x^{x^{x^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot}}}}}$$ A trick to solve this is to see that $$\large 2 = x^{x^{x^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot}}}}} \quad\implies\quad 2 = x^{\Big(x^{x^{x^{...
57
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12answers
7k views

Why are addition and multiplication commutative, but not exponentiation?

We know that the addition and multiplication operators are both commutative, and the exponentiation operator is not. My question is why. As background there are plenty of mathematical schemes that ...
36
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2answers
1k views

A new interesting pattern to $i↑↑n$ that looks cool (and $z↑↑x$ for $z\in\mathbb C,x\in\mathbb R$)

Many of you may recall "An obvious pattern to $i↑↑n$ that is eluding us all?", an old question of mine, and just recently, I saw this new question that poses a simple extension to tetration at non-...
34
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1answer
798 views

How do I calculate the 2nd term of continued fraction for the power tower ${^5}e=e^{e^{e^{e^{e}}}}$

I need to find the 2nd term of continued fraction for the power tower ${^5}e=e^{e^{e^{e^{e}}}}$ ( i.e. $\lfloor\{e^{e^{e^{e^{e}}}}\}^{-1}\rfloor$), or even higher towers. The number is too big to ...
34
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3answers
6k views

Infinite tetration, convergence radius

I got this problem from my teacher as a optional challenge. I am open about this being a given problem, however it is not homework. The problem is stated as follows. Assume we have an infinite ...
33
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2answers
4k views

Is There a Natural Way to Extend Repeated Exponentiation Beyond Integers?

This question has been in my mind since high school. We can get multiplication of natural numbers by repeated addition; equivalently, if we define $f$ recursively by $f(1)=m$ and $f(n+1)=f(n)+m$, ...
33
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4answers
1k views

An obvious pattern to $i\uparrow\uparrow n$ that is eluding us all?

Start with $i=\sqrt{-1}$. This will be $a_1$. $a_2$ will be $i^i$. $a_3$ will be $i^{i^{i}}$. $\vdots$ etc. In Knuth up-arrow notation: $$a_n=i\uparrow\uparrow n$$ And, amazingly, you can ...
32
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4answers
3k views

thoughts about $f(f(x))=e^x$

I was thinking, inspired by mathlinks, precisely from this post, if there exists a continuous real function $f:\mathbb R\to\mathbb R$ such that $$f(f(x))=e^x.$$ However I have not still been able to ...
31
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1answer
525 views

Iterated exponent of $i$

WolframAlpha seems to tell me that $e^{e^{e^{e^{e^{e^{e^{e^{e^{e^{e^i}}}}}}}}}} = 1$, see link. Is this just an error or is it for real? Adding one more $e$ to the bottom of the tower gives me the ...
31
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2answers
3k views

$n^{th}$ derivative of a tetration function

I stumbled upon this very peculiar function last summer, namely: $f(x)=x^{x^{x^{...^{x}}}}$, where there is a number $n$ of $x$'s in the exponent, I tried to find the derivative for the function and I ...
29
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3answers
4k views

What is this operator called?

If $x \cdot 2 = x + x$ and $x \cdot 3 = x + x + x$ and $x^2 = x \cdot x$ and $x^3 = x \cdot x \cdot x$ Is there an operator $\oplus$ such that: $x \oplus 2 = x^x$ and $x \oplus 3 = {x^{x^x}}$? ...
27
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2answers
1k views

What is the derivative of ${}^xx$

How would one find: $$\frac{\mathrm d}{\mathrm dx}{}^xx?$$ where ${}^ba$ is defined by $${}^ba\stackrel{\mathrm{def}}{=}\underbrace{ a^{a^{\cdot^{\cdot^{\cdot^a}}}}}_{\text{$b$ times}}$$ Work so far ...
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4answers
2k views

Seems that I just proved $2=4$.

Solving $x^{x^{x^{.^{.^.}}}}=2\Rightarrow x^2=2\Rightarrow x=\sqrt 2$. Solving $x^{x^{x^{.^{.^.}}}}=4\Rightarrow x^4=4\Rightarrow x=\sqrt 2$. Therefore, $\sqrt 2^{\sqrt 2^{\sqrt 2^{.^{.^.}}}}=2$ and ...
23
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8answers
975 views

Infinite powering by $i$ [duplicate]

Find the value of: $i^{i^{i^{i^{i^{i^{....\infty}}}}}}$ Simply infinite powering by i's and the limiting value. Thank you for the help.
23
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3answers
657 views

What combinatorial quantity the tetration of two natural numbers represents?

Tetration is a generalization of exponentiation in arithmetic and a part of a series of other generalized notions, Hyperoperators. Consider $m\uparrow n$ denotes the tetration of $m$ and $n$. i.e. $$\...
22
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1answer
613 views

Is the positive root of the equation $x^{x^x}=2$, $x=1.47668433…$ a transcendental number?

I can prove using the Gelfond–Schneider theorem that the positive root of the equation $x^{x^x}=2$, $x=1.47668433...$ is an irrational number. Is it possible to prove it is transcendental?
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3answers
1k views

Explain $x^{x^{x^{{\cdots}}}} = \,\,3$

$$x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{\cdot^{\cdot}}}}} =\quad 2$$ This equation has the answer $\sqrt{2}$ by taking $\log$ to both side. This answer is correct because I'd proved it by computing the equation repeatedly ...
20
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3answers
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How to evaluate fractional tetrations?

Recently I've come across 'tetration' in my studies of math, and I've become intrigued how they can be evaluated when the "tetration number" is not whole. For those who do not know, tetrations are the ...
19
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10answers
3k views

half iterate of $x^2+c$

I'm looking for literature on fractional iterates of $x^2+c$, where c>0. For c=0, generating the half iterate is trivial. $$h(h(x))=x^2$$ $$h(x)=x^{\sqrt{2}}$$ The question is, for $c>0,$ and $x&...
18
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2answers
864 views

Proof of strictly increasing nature of $y(x)=x^{x^{x^{\ldots}}}$ on $[1,e^{\frac{1}{e}})$?

The title is fairly self explanatory: I have been trying to rigorously prove that $y(x)=x^{x^{x^{\ldots}}}$ is a strictly increasing function over the interval $[1,e^{\frac{1}{e}})$ for a while now, ...
16
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3answers
606 views

How can I prove $\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}…}}}}=2$ [duplicate]

How can I prove $$\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}^{\sqrt{2}...}}}}=2$$ I don't know which method can be used for this?
16
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2answers
722 views

What is $i$ exponentiated to itself $i$ times?

I was just wondering about this. I searched about it on the net and found that it is called tetration and after this comes pentation and then hexation and so on so forth. I don't really understand ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Complex towers: $i^{i^{i^{…}}}$

If $w = z^{z^{z^{...}}}$ converges, we can determine its value by solving $w = z^{w}$, which leads to $w = -W(-\log z))/\log z$. To be specific here, let's use $u^v = \exp(v \log u)$ for complex $u$ ...
15
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2answers
458 views

Complete monotonicity of a sequence related to tetration

Let $\Delta$ denote the forward difference operator on a sequence: $$\Delta s_n = s_{n+1} - s_n,$$ and $\Delta^m$ denote the forward difference of the order $m$: $$\Delta^0 s_n = s_n, \quad \Delta^{m+...
14
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2answers
1k views

How exactly does Knuth's Up-Arrow notation work?

I've done some research, and found this on Wikipedia. \begin{matrix}a\uparrow b=a^{b}=&\underbrace {a\times a\times \dots \times a} \\&b{\mbox{ copies of }}a\end{matrix} \begin{matrix}a\...
14
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0answers
690 views

Prime factor of $2 \uparrow \uparrow 4 + 3\uparrow \uparrow 4$

I checked the prime factors of $$2 \uparrow \uparrow 4 + 3\uparrow \uparrow 4 = 2^{2^{2^2}} + 3^{3^{3^3}}$$ with trial division and found non below $8*10^9$ Nevertheless, the given number has still ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Continuum between addition, multiplication and exponentiation?

I noticed this old post which attempts to find the shades of grey between a linear and log scale where results are between zero and one. However, I was looking for the more general case where we find ...
13
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2answers
1k views

A puzzle with powers and tetration mod n

A friend recently asked me if I could solve these three problems: (a) Prove that the sequence $ 1^1, 2^2, 3^3, \dots \pmod{3}$ in other words $\{n^n \pmod{3} \}$ is periodic, and find the length of ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Does an iterated exponential $z^{z^{z^{…}}}$ always have a finite period

Let $z \in \mathbb{C}.$ Let $t = W(-\ln z)$ where $W$ is the Lambert W Function. Define the sequence $a_n$ by $a_0 = z$ and $a_{n+1} = z^{a_n}$ for $n \geq 1$, that is to say $a_n$ is the sequence $...
12
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6answers
5k views

How do you calculate $ 2^{2^{2^{2^{2}}}} $?

From information I have gathered online, this should be equivalent to $2^{16}$ but when I punch the numbers into this large number calculator, the number comes out to be over a thousand digits. Is the ...
12
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4answers
566 views

Solve $x^{x^x}=-1$

I do know that if you use tetration the equation would look like this. $$^3x=-1$$ You could then theoretically use the super-root function to solve the equation, but I do not know how to use the ...
12
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1answer
391 views

Is it possible to prove the positive root of the equation ${^4}x=2$, $x=1.4466014324…$ is irrational?

(somewhat related to my earlier question) Let ${^n}a$ denote tetration $\underbrace{a^{a^{.^{.^{.^a}}}}}_{n \text{ times}}$ (or, defined recursively, ${^1}a=a$, ${^{n+1}}a=a^{({^n}a)}$). The ...
12
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2answers
795 views

Derivative of $x^{x^{\cdot^{\cdot}}}$?

The infinite tetration is defined as $$f(x)=x^{x^{\cdot^{\cdot}}}$$ This function is defined for $e^{-e} \leq x \leq e^{e-1}$. (Wikipedia image) Can one determine the derivative of this function?
12
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4answers
651 views

Can tetration 'escape' the complex plane?

Considering subtraction can break out of the natural numbers and into integers, division can break out of integers and into rational numbers, and exponentiation can break out of rational numbers and ...
12
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1answer
404 views

What is $\underbrace{2018^{2018^{2018^{\mathstrut^{.^{.^{.^{2018}}}}}}}}_{p\,\text{times}}\pmod p$ where $p$ is an odd prime?

This recent question inspired me to explore values concerning modulo arithmetic of tetrations, and I thus pose the following question. Is there a general expression for the value of $$\underbrace{...
11
votes
3answers
892 views

How to calculate $f(x)$ in $f(f(x)) = e^x$?

How would I calculate the power series of $f(x)$ if $f(f(x)) = e^x$? Is there a faster-converging method than power series for fractional iteration/functional square roots?
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2answers
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Example of Tetration in Natural Phenomena

Tetration is a natural extension of the concept of addition, multiplication, and exponentiation. It is quite obvious that there are things in the physics world which can be modeled by these 3 lowest ...
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1answer
174 views

Prime factors of $\sum_{k=1}^{30}k^{k^k}$

I checked the prime factors of $$\sum_{k=1}^{30}k^{k^k}$$ and did not find any upto $10^8$ Are there any useful restrictions to accelerate the search ?
11
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1answer
162 views

Prove that $F_{2n}(x)=0$ has exactly one root in the interval $x\in(0,1),$ and this root $\to 0$ when $n \to \infty.$

Define $$f_1(x)=x\\f_2(x)=x^x\\\vdots\\f_{n+1}(x)=x^{f_n(x)}$$ Let $F_n(x)=f_n^{'}(x).$ Hence $$F_1(x)=1\\F_2(x)=x^x(1+\log(x))\\\vdots$$ Prove that $F_{2n}(x)=0$ has exactly one root in the ...
10
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3answers
4k views

Calculating 7^7^7^7^7^7^7 mod 100

What is $$\large 7^{7^{7^{7^{7^{7^7}}}}} \pmod{100}$$ I'm not much of a number theorist and I saw this mentioned on the internet somewhere. Should be doable by hand.
10
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4answers
370 views

If $y=x^{x^{x^{x^{x^{.^{.^{.}}}}}}}$ then how $y=x^y$?

In questions like, find the derivative of $f(x)=x^{x^{x^{x^{x^{.^{.^{.}}}}}}}$, how can we formally show that $y=x^y$? We use this technique for all type of iterations, e.g. $y=\sqrt{6+\sqrt{6+\...
10
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1answer
622 views

What does $ ^3 3$ mean?

I was taking a test and this was a question. It does not mean $3^3$, nor is it a typo. The superscript was before the $3$ and I have no idea what it means. I tried researching but couldn't find an ...
10
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1answer
141 views

Function $f$ s.t. $\lim_{x\to\infty}\frac{f(e^x)}{f(x)}=1$

The questions are: 1) Does there exists some function $f$ s.t. $\lim_{x\to\infty}\frac{f(e^x)}{f(x)}=1$ and $\lim_{x\to\infty}f(x)=\infty$? 2) Is $\big(\sum_{k=n}^{2^n}a_k\big)_n\to0$ is ...
10
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3answers
306 views

What is the value of $^{\frac{1}{10}}e$?

By $^nx$, I mean $x$ tetrated to $n$. So, basically, I'm looking for the solution of the equation $$\large x^{x^{x^{x^{x^{x^{x^{x{^{x^x}}}}}}}}}=e$$. Is there some way to find the approximate value by ...
10
votes
0answers
244 views

How to solve $x^x = y^y \mod p$?

Let $p>5$ be a prime. How to solve $x^x = y^y \mod p$? How many solutions are there for a given $p$ such that $x,y < p$? I know the discrete logarithm and the theory of quadratic residues, but ...
9
votes
3answers
791 views

Convergence properties of $z^{z^{z^{…}}}$ and is it “chaotic”

$\DeclareMathOperator{\Arg}{Arg}$ Let $z \in \mathbb{C}.$ Let $b = W(-\ln z)$ where $W$ is the Lambert W Function. Define the sequence $a_n$ by $a_0 = z$ and $a_{n+1} = {a_0}^{a_n}$ for $n \geq 1$, ...
9
votes
3answers
351 views

Solutions of $a^{a^x}=x$ for fixed $a>0$

I am interested in the equation $a^{a^x}=x$ for some fixed $a>0$. Is there some way to rearrange for $x$ or solve otherwise? What about the nature of the solutions? For which fixed $a>0$ are ...
9
votes
1answer
159 views

Does $\lim_{n\rightarrow \infty} \left(r+\frac{1}{n^2}\right)\uparrow \uparrow n=e$ hold?

Does $$\lim_{n\rightarrow \infty}\left (r+\frac{1}{n^2}\right)\uparrow \uparrow n=e$$ hold ? $r$ is the number $e^{e^{-1}}$ , the largest real number for which the infinite power tower $r\uparrow r\...
9
votes
1answer
464 views

A problem in understanding infinite towers (tetration)

To solve equations involving power towers (infinite tetration) we usually do something like this: $$x^{x^{x^{x^{\dots}}}} =k$$ $$x^{(x^{x^{x^{\dots}}})} =k$$ $$x^k=k$$ $$x=\sqrt[k]k$$ But what if ...