# Juggler sequence

In number theory, a **juggler sequence** is an integer sequence that starts with a positive integer *a*_{0}, with each subsequent term in the sequence defined by the recurrence relation:
[math]\displaystyle{ a_{k+1}= \begin{cases}
\left \lfloor a_k^{\frac{1}{2}} \right \rfloor, & \text{if } a_k \text{ is even} \\
\\
\left \lfloor a_k^{\frac{3}{2}} \right \rfloor, & \text{if } a_k \text{ is odd}.
\end{cases} }[/math]

## Background

Juggler sequences were publicised by American mathematician and author Clifford A. Pickover.^{[1]} The name is derived from the rising and falling nature of the sequences, like balls in the hands of a juggler.^{[2]}

For example, the juggler sequence starting with *a*_{0} = 3 is

- [math]\displaystyle{ a_1= \lfloor 3^\frac{3}{2} \rfloor = \lfloor 5.196\dots \rfloor = 5, }[/math]
- [math]\displaystyle{ a_2= \lfloor 5^\frac{3}{2} \rfloor = \lfloor 11.180\dots \rfloor = 11, }[/math]
- [math]\displaystyle{ a_3= \lfloor 11^\frac{3}{2} \rfloor = \lfloor 36.482\dots \rfloor = 36, }[/math]
- [math]\displaystyle{ a_4= \lfloor 36^\frac{1}{2} \rfloor = \lfloor 6 \rfloor = 6, }[/math]
- [math]\displaystyle{ a_5= \lfloor 6^\frac{1}{2} \rfloor = \lfloor 2.449\dots \rfloor = 2, }[/math]
- [math]\displaystyle{ a_6= \lfloor 2^\frac{1}{2} \rfloor = \lfloor 1.414\dots \rfloor = 1. }[/math]

If a juggler sequence reaches 1, then all subsequent terms are equal to 1. It is conjectured that all juggler sequences eventually reach 1. This conjecture has been verified for initial terms up to 10^{6},^{[3]} but has not been proved. Juggler sequences therefore present a problem that is similar to the Collatz conjecture, about which Paul Erdős stated that "mathematics is not yet ready for such problems".

For a given initial term *n*, one defines *l*(*n*) to be the number of steps which the juggler sequence starting at *n* takes to first reach 1, and *h*(*n*) to be the maximum value in the juggler sequence starting at *n*. For small values of *n* we have:

*n*Juggler sequence *l*(*n*)*h*(*n*)2 2, 1 1 2 3 3, 5, 11, 36, 6, 2, 1 6 36 4 4, 2, 1 2 4 5 5, 11, 36, 6, 2, 1 5 36 6 6, 2, 1 2 6 7 7, 18, 4, 2, 1 4 18 8 8, 2, 1 2 8 9 9, 27, 140, 11, 36, 6, 2, 1 7 140 10 10, 3, 5, 11, 36, 6, 2, 1 7 36

Juggler sequences can reach very large values before descending to 1. For example, the juggler sequence starting at *a*_{0} = 37 reaches a maximum value of 24906114455136. Harry J. Smith has determined that the juggler sequence starting at *a*_{0} = 48443 reaches a maximum value at *a*_{60} with 972,463 digits, before reaching 1 at *a*_{157}.^{[4]}

## See also

## References

- ↑ Pickover, Clifford A. (1992). "Chapter 40".
*Computers and the Imagination*. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-08343-4. https://archive.org/details/computersimagina00clif. - ↑ Pickover, Clifford A. (2002). "Chapter 45: Juggler Numbers".
*The Mathematics of Oz: Mental Gymnastics from Beyond the Edge*. Cambridge University Press. pp. 102–106. ISBN 978-0-521-01678-0. https://archive.org/details/mathematicsofozm0000pick. - ↑ Weisstein, Eric W.. "Juggler Sequence". http://mathworld.wolfram.com/JugglerSequence.html.
- ↑ Letter from Harry J. Smith to Clifford A. Pickover, 27 June 1992

## External links

- Weisstein, Eric W.. "Juggler sequence". http://mathworld.wolfram.com/JugglerSequence.html.
- Juggler sequence (A094683) at the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences. See also:
- Number of steps needed for juggler sequence (A094683) started at n to reach 1.
- n sets a new record for number of iterations to reach 1 in the juggler sequence problem.
- Number of steps where the Juggler sequence reaches a new record.
- Smallest number which requires n iterations to reach 1 in the juggler sequence problem.
- Starting values that produce a larger juggler number than smaller starting values.

- Juggler sequence calculator at Collatz Conjecture Calculation Center
- Juggler Number pages by Harry J. Smith

Original source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juggler sequence.
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