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Caldwell, CC (2008)

Does Benford's law apply to prime numbers?

The Prime Pages.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: Not available at this time.

Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Perhaps the most difficult to quantify question we address in this FAQ is: If we pick several random prime numbers, will they begin with the digits 1, 2, 3, . 9 equally often, or will the digit 1 be more common (as Benford's law might suggest)? The short answer, in the cases when there is an answer, is "yes, the leading digit 1 occurs more often, in fact over 30% (log10 2) of the time." And this has little to do with the "primeness" of the numbers, it is a common feature of many distributions. But we are in truly treacherous territory here--we will first define the question much more carefully, then we can explain why Benford's law does indeed apply to primes

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Reference Type: Website

Subject Area(s): Number Theory