Reasons why 73 is the best number
I don’t claim that 73 is the best number. In fact, I don’t even claim it to be the best integer. However, Sheldon of the Big Bang Theory argued why it was the best number. Not only does that make for a great trivia question but deserves a careful analysis.
Before I go further, here is a link to a clip where this is discussed on the Big Bang Theory.
Here are Sheldon’s reasons why 73 is the best number, or the “Chuck Norris of numbers” as Leonard put it.
- 73 is 21st prime number. It’s mirror, 37, is the 12th prime number (the mirror of 21).
- 7*3 = 21. As previously mentioned, 73 is the 21st prime number.
- 73 = 64 + 8 + 1 = 2^6 + 2^3 + 2^1. Represented in binary, 73 = 1001001, which is a palindrome (expressed the same way forwards as backwards).
Here are some other reasons why 73 might be considered the best number, which Sheldon didn’t mention, but Wikipedia does.
- Not only is 73 a star number , but so is it’s mirror 37. In fact, there are no star numbers between 37 and 73.
- Not only is 73 a palindrome in base 2, but also base 8. 73 = 8^2 + 8^1 + 8^0 = 111.
- 7^3 = 343, another prime.
In the star figure above (from Wikipedia) , there are 37 green circles and 73 blue ones.
Wikipedia mentions some other properties of the number 73, but they are so esoteric, I won’t get into them. However, many do involve prime numbers. This makes for a perfect connection to Sheldon’s first sermon on prime numbers in his church of mathology on the prequel Young Sheldon.
I can’t help but comment on Raj’s argument that 5,318,008 is the best number. Here is what it looks like right-side up.
However, here it is upside-down.
In closing, this is a rare time I disagree with Sheldon. There can be little debate the two best numbers are e and π, preferably in that order. However, if we must limit ourselves to integers, I’m going to go with 153. I will explain why next week, unless I think of something better to write about.
Until then, may be the odds be in your favor.