I believe there is a story about a 20th century sciencist (either Neumann or Feynmann I think) who, at some dinner or some sort of gathering, made the following claim to his fellow colleagues: He asserted that in less than 1 minute he can find the answer (with 10% error) of any mathematical problem which could be stated in less than 10 seconds (I'm not 100% sure if I got the parameters exactly right). Is there any source of this story?

The way I remember coming across the story is in a youtube video, where the author mentioned that the collegues should've asked for the value of $\tan(10^{1000})$, which would've required the sciencist to know $\pi$ to very many decimal places.

  • $\begingroup$ Feynman. He's told this story multiple times. $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2017 at 5:53


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.