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Telescoping Series

Find $S_r = 1^r + 2^r + 3^r + ... + n^r$ where r is any fixed positive integer in terms of $S_1, S_2, ... S_{r-1}$.

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Which is larger: (a) 1.000001^{1000000} or 2? (b) 100^{300} or 300! (i.e.factorial 300)

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Climbing Powers

$2\wedge 3\wedge 4$ could be $(2^3)^4$ or $2^{(3^4)}$. Does it make any difference? For both definitions, which is bigger: $r\wedge r\wedge r\wedge r\dots$ where the powers of $r$ go on for ever, or $(r^r)^r$, where $r$ is $\sqrt{2}$?


Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Which is bigger: $9^{10}$ or $10^{9}$?

Now find a way to use your calculator to compare $99^{100}$ and $100^{99}$.

Work out which is bigger out of $999^{1000}$ and $1000^{999}$.


This challenge calls for some experimentation with numbers and for some ingenuity in finding a solution. There are several possible methods of solution.

Optional extension challenge: If you solved the above, you might wish to consider which is bigger for the same sort of problem with a billion 9s and a billion 0s.