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**NUC 5: Triangular numbers
**

A triangular number is created by laying down gaming pieces in the shape of an equilateral triangle. The number of pieces in such a triangle with be de ned by: The sum of the rst n natural numbers is called nth It can be calculated with triangular number

n.

n rows equates to the nth triangular number

n.

This

construction of a triangle equates to the sum of the

rst n numbers, so the triangular number can also

. This formula can be traced back to Carl he realised that it was the easiest

Friedrich Gauss who was a schoolboy when 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, 28, 36 …

solution for adding the numbers 1 to 100. The triangular numbers begin with 1,

One of the rst to examine triangular numbers was called it Tekraktys and used it as a form of

Pythagoras. He regarded the number 10 as a holy “Oh holy, holy

number because it equates to 1+2+3+4 and can be laid down as an equilateral triangle. Pythagoras invocation that his pupils had to recite: Tetractys, thou that containest the root and source of the eternally flowing creation!” Triangular numbers are well researched and are suitable as an introduction into arithmetic or number theory due to their demonstrability. Ev en in daily life, they turn up in sports or educational games for children. In bowling, the 10 pins are placed according to corresponds to

5. 4

and in billiards, the starting position

Furthermore, there

are numerous arithmetical correlations including triangular numbers which can be proven my amateurs.

What we do know: • The sum of two consecutive triangular numbers is a square number. • Squares of triangular numbers are also triangular numbers. • Apart from

2

= 3 triangular numbers are not prime. of all triangular numbers is 2. are triangular numbers and Number Palindromes , while the indices

• The sum of the rst n cubic numbers equates to the square of the nth triangular number. • The sum of the reciprocals •

11 , 1111 , 111111 ,

**• 5…5… is always a triangular number when … stands for a sequence of zeros, e.g. 500500.
**

11111111

are Repunits .

Triangular numbers can be generalised in two ways. In the plane, the triangle can be replaced by other regular polygons which results in the square numbers, the hexagonal numbers and in general the polygonal numbers. Furthermore, it is possible to leave the plane and stack the triangles in higher dimensions. In three dimensions, this reveals pyramids or tetrahedrons and tetrahedral numbers Tetn, when the first n triangular numbers are added. In the fourth dimension, the results are pentatopes, which have tetrahedrons as sides. The sums of the gaming pieces required to build a pentatope are called Pentatope Numbers. In mathematics, all numbers which relate to regular geometrical shapes in the plane or in higher dimensions are called figurate numbers. In this case, regular means “equally long sides” and “equal angles”. All numbers of the cluster FLATLAND belong to the figurate numbers. To ensure clarity, only the first 10.000 triangular numbers are included in the NUC; thus, Δ10000 = 500500 is the largest triangular number in the NUC. The larger numbers of this type are also part of the NUMBERUNIVERSE as free numbers. Triangular numbers and the corresponding NU2N objects are suitable for children and young people who are introduced to mathematics, to discover correlations, experience fascination, enjoy success – without having to venture far from the safe haven of comprehension. Also, athletes and enthusiasts of simple geometrical shapes will feel at home, as triangular numbers suggest being in control and in familiar ground.

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