If we see 6174 is an ordinary number like all the other numbers. But would you believe me if I say that it’s known as the ‘magic number’? yes, you heard me right this number is known as the Kaprekar’s Constant which was discovered in 1949 by the Indian Mathematician Dattatreya Ramchandra Kaprekar also known as DR Kaprekar.
To this date, most mathematicians aren’t able to explain these magic numbers. Want to know what’s so unique and exceptional about this number, keep on reading!
Who is Dattatreya Ramachandra Kaprekar?
Dattatreya Ramchandra Kaprekar was born on 17th January 1905 in Dahanu and his father was a clerk who made him fall in love with numbers and calculating numbers. He used to solve puzzles all the time and studied at the University of Mumbai and completed his bachelor’s degree. Kaprekar spent his life teaching in schools and colleges in Mumbai.
Kaprekar was known for his excellence and had been called to solve all types of toughest mathematical questions in different schools and colleges.
How did this magical number become popular?
In Madras, Kaprekar introduced this number to the world during a Mathematical Conference in 1949. At that time his discovery was rejected by a lot of Indian mathematicians; they thought it was useless and baseless and great mathematicians ever tried mocking and making fun of his discovery.
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Nonetheless, Kaprekar’s discovery was not only discussed in India but in Foreign countries too.
The famous American mathematician Martin Gardner wrote an article in the popular science magazine ‘Scientific American’ about Kaprekar and today all the mathematicians are doing research on Kaprekar’s discovery after it started getting recognition.
Following are some rules for this number
- You have to take any four-digit number and at least two digits should be different.
- Start by arranging the digits in descending and ascending order so that you can get two new four-digit numbers.
- Now, the easiest part is subtracting the smaller number from the biggest number.
- Lastly, go back to step 2 and then repeat.
Why is 6174 considered a magical number?
So, here’s the most important part for which you all must be waiting, whatever rules I mentioned above how it would work so let’s take a quick example and see whether we would really get surprised by the results.
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For example, let’s take 9876 and we will follow the rules mentioned above:
Its descending order would be 9876 this
Now, let’s write this number in the ascending order 6789
Now, let’s subtract the smaller number with the bigger number (9876 – 6789 = 3087)
Let’s write the resulting number in the descending order 8730
Now, let’s write this number in the ascending order 0378
Now, the same step subtract the smaller number with the bigger number (8730 – 0378 = 8352)
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Again, let’s write the resulting number in the descending order 8532
Now, let’s write this number in the ascending order 2358
Let’s subtract the smaller number with the bigger number (8532 – 2358 = 6174) here’s the magical number
Let’s write the resulting number in the descending order 7641
Let’s write this number in the ascending order 1467
Let’s subtract the smaller number with the bigger number (7641 – 1467 = 6174) again the result is the magical number
So, let’s take one more four-digit number 4926 and follow the same steps:
- 9642 – 2469 = 7173
- 7731 – 1377 = 6354
- 6543 – 3456 = 3087
- 8730 – 0378 = 8352
- 8532 – 2358 = 6174
- 7641 – 1467 = 6174
Shocked?? Me too when I actually did it myself, so you can also try by taking any four-digit number, make sure at least two of them are different, and follow the simple 4 rules you’ll see the results as you will always end up getting 6174 and you will be left with this number in the end.
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This puzzle hasn’t been solved by any mathematician from 1949 till today and now people are talking and solving this number and are getting surprised after the results of it.
In the end, whether this discovery of 6174 helped the mathematical world in any way or not can’t be said but this unique discovery of Kapekar’s made an impact and no one could have been able to explain it. Kaprekar has also made different types of magic squares that are related to the Copernicus magic square.
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What are your thoughts on this and did you try this using different numbers? Let us know in the comments and I hope you all enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed it while writing. Thank you!