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Mar 21, 2021

After Cracking the “Sum of Cubes” Puzzle for 42, Mathematicians Solve Harder Problem That Has Stumped Experts for Decades

Posted by in categories: alien life, mathematics

The 21-digit solution to the decades-old problem suggests many more solutions exist.

What do you do after solving the answer to life, the universe, and everything? If you’re mathematicians Drew Sutherland and Andy Booker, you go for the harder problem.

In 2019, Booker, at the University of Bristol, and Sutherland, principal research scientist at MIT, were the first to find the answer to 42. The number has pop culture significance as the fictional answer to “the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything,” as Douglas Adams famously penned in his novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” The question that begets 42, at least in the novel, is frustratingly, hilariously unknown.

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