This so-called "Lenny conundrum #100" is one of the most troubling puzzles that Strominger needs to solve. Please be aware that your most straightforward completion of the first names and the last names in the previous sentence may be incorrect. ;-) The problem is the following:
What is the missing value in the following sequence?
- 2616, 3, 11, 10850, ________, 25, 2038
Is anyone able to solve it? I suspect that the task is not purely mathematical, and the solution may be 42, 15, or anything else. ;-) If you want to fit a 6th order polynomial, you will get something like 14157, but I want other answers.
I have solved it! :-) You should try to solve it, too. I am probably the first person in the world besides the inventor and his close neighborhood who has figured it out, and it feels almost like discovering the Standard Model! As of today, you will not find this problem solved anywhere on the internet, even though all necessary pieces of data are on the internet. Let me give you some hints that should be enough for you to solve it, too:
- All the "answers" to this question available on the internet as of today - namely all numbers below one billion - are incorrect
- You need to know how to find the squares of the numbers smaller than ten
- You need to be able to use an internet search engine and figure out roughly who invented this problem and what kind of work he's doing - and investigate into his or her life a little bit, especially into the role of the numbers "x^2" for small "x" or e.g. 2038 etc. in his or her life
- I assure you that you won't need to know anything about his girlfriends or boyfriends; you should not make any assumption about the death of that person in 2038 because such things are not known yet
- The "new physics" that you're looking for does not have to be as simple as the "old physics" that you already see; also, the ideas about discreteness of spacetime will be useless for you
- You will need the same number of keystrokes to type the "missing value" as the n-th element of the sequence where n is the second element of the sequence :-) - well, let me admit that the number of keystrokes also equals the critical spacetime dimension of M-theory
- If you find an explanation of the sequence that fits the available data, but your predictions of new physics will look more like an incantation rather than a meaningful answer, don't get discouraged and boldly insist on your prediction! :-)
By looking at these hints, the creator of the puzzle will know very well that I've solved it. :-) I am also sure that the solution is right. It's much like M-theory: when you see it and understand it, you know that it must be the correct and the unique solution - simply because too many things work - even though some people who did not get it may complain that the solution to this puzzle (or M-theory) has too many keystrokes (too many particle species), a wrong kind of keystrokes (extended fundamental objects), and they may even claim that the solution looks like a "hocus pocus" which they don't like. But you simply know that it has to be correct once you master the logic behind it. :-)
I ask everyone who finds the answer, following the hints above, to remain silent and avoid publication of the answer on my blog or other public forums.