## Why 42 really is the answer to life, the universe and everything: after 65 years, experts finally make complicated math riddles

• Number answer to question in Hitchiker & # 39; s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
• The late author insisted that he had randomly chosen the song for science fiction series
• But 42 was the last link in the math problem known as the Diophantian equation
• Team from the University of Bristol and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has cracked it

The number 42 is, famously, the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything in the Hitchhikers & # 39; Guide to the Galaxy.

But although the late author Douglas Adams always insisted that he choose the randomly chosen song for his science fiction novel, 42 mathematicians have actually been confused for decades.

Until now it remained the last elusive link in a math problem known as the Diophantian equation.

The number 42 is, famously, the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything in the Hitchhikers & # 39; Guide to the Galaxy. Pictured: Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent in the 2005 film

The question that puzzled mathematicians was this: can you get all numbers up to 100 from the sum of three cubes?

This is expressed in mathematical notation as k = x (in blocks) + y (in blocks) + z (in blocks).

Named after Diophantes, the Greek father of Algebra, the original problem in 1954 was at the University of Cambridge.

Some numbers are simple – for example, the number 29 can be written as 3³ + 1³ + 1³ (27 + 1 + 1). Others, for example 4, 5, 13 and 14, have proven to have no solution.

But 42 had remained elusive without a solution or proof that it has no solution.

Now a team led by the University of Bristol and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has cracked it.

The late author Douglas Adams always insisted that he chose the randomly chosen song for his science fiction novel, but 42 has actually confused mathematicians for decades

Professor Andrew Booker enlisted the help of MIT mathematics professor Andrew Sutherland, and they used Charity Engine – which uses power from more than 500,000 home computers while they are inactive.

The answer, which took more than a million hours of calculation to prove, is as follows: X = -80538738812075974, Y = 80435758145817515 and Z = 12602123297335631.

Professor Booker from the University of Bristol said: & I feel relieved. In this game it is impossible to be sure that you will find something.

& # 39; It looks a bit like predicting earthquakes.

In the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy saga, a group of hyper-intelligent creatures demand the & # 39; Answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything & # 39; from a supercomputer, Deep Thought

& # 39; So we may be able to find what we are looking for after a few months of searching, or the solution for the next century may not be found. & # 39;

In the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy saga, a group of hyper-intelligent creatures demand the & # 39; Answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything & # 39; from a supercomputer, Deep Thought.