Can somebody suggest an easy solution (preferably without modular arithmetic) to this problem:

What is the units digit of this expression?

\(7^{7^{7^{7^{7^{7^{7}}}}}}\)

That is, 7 raised as a power six times (I'm not skilled in using Latex).

Thanks!

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TopNewestAn approach i dont find mentioned here:

As we know unit digit of power of 7 repeat in a cycle of 4 as (7,9,3,1,7,9,3,1...)

So we have to calculate the remainder of the power(six times 7) by 4.

7^(7^(^...))).. mod 4

=(-1)^(7^(^(....))) mod 4

i.e. -1 to the power an odd number, that's obviously -1

so the eqn becomes:

=(-1) mod 4

=3 mod 4

So the unit digit of the original question reduces to 7^(4k+3)

Using the cyclic nature of the powers of 7 (as mentioned at top) Unit digit is 3.

Answer is 3– Ashwani Karoriwal · 3 years, 1 month agoLog in to reply

7^1 = 7 , 7^2 =49 , 7^3 = 343 , 7^4 = 2401

so cycle length for units digit for power of 7 is 4.i.e (7,9,3,1)

if we can find remainder of 7(power raised five times) with 4 , units digit can be find easily.

7^(odd number) mod 4 = -1^(odd number) = -1 ,so remainder = 4-1=3

So answer will be 3rd element in list.

So answer will be 3. – Aakash Kumar · 3 years, 1 month ago

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– Michael Tong · 3 years, 1 month ago

No, this doesn't work either. If \(k \equiv 2 \pmod 4\), what does that mean about its units digit? That doesn't mean it's \(2\), that actually means that it can be either \(0, 2, 4, 6, 8\). Is anybody checking these solutions before just upvoting them?Log in to reply

– Caleb Stanford · 3 years, 1 month ago

I think you misunderstood the solution. The solution is to note that the exponent is congruent to 3 (mod 4), thus the expression itself is congruent to \(7^3\), which has units digit 3. The solution is entirely correct, even if it leaves unstated that \(7^3 \equiv 3\) at the end.Log in to reply

– Aakash Kumar · 3 years, 1 month ago

remainder =3 So , answer is 3rd element in list which is 3.Log in to reply

The unit's digit of the powers of 7 are \(7,9,3,1,7,9,3,1\cdots\). Therefore,\(7,9,3,1\) continues like this.Now,we just want to calculate the exponent of 7 and we can figure out the answer.The exponent is

\(7^{7^{7^{7^{7^{7}}}}}=?\)

Of course,that is the last thing we want to calculate.But note that this exponent is odd.Therefore,its unit's digit is either \(7\) or \(3\). Now,note:

(i)If the exponent is of the form \(4k+3\),the unit's digit is 3.

(ii)If not,then the answer is 7.

I am stuck now. – Rahul Saha · 3 years, 1 month ago

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– Mark Mottian · 3 years, 1 month ago

There's something about your solution that makes it easy to understand - especially if you're not familiar with modular arithmetic. Thanks!Log in to reply

Hey Mark I edited the note for you with Latex. If you click the edit button you can see how I did it for yourself. You were pretty close, you just need to bracket the math with ( and you would have been good to go. Be sure to check out the formatting guide if you ever get stuck. – Peter Taylor Staff · 3 years, 1 month ago

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– Mark Mottian · 3 years, 1 month ago

Thanks so much!!Log in to reply

The answer is 3.Because of the repeating pattern.(7,9,3,1,....) – Prasad Nikam · 3 years, 1 month ago

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– Finn Hulse · 3 years, 1 month ago

Correct.Log in to reply

let us calculate the last digit of 7^7; 7^7=(7^4)*(7^3)

as last digit of 7^4=1 and last digit of 7^3=3

so last digit of 7^7=3

and the loop continues at last we get 7^3 whose last digit is 3 – Rishabh Shukla · 3 years, 1 month ago

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The last digit of 7^7 is 3,now raise the next seven to the power of 3,then raise the next seven to the power of the last digit of the last number found,continue this process and ultimately you'll get 3 as the answer ! – Atreyee Chattopadhyay · 3 years, 1 month ago

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3 – Vasu Subramanian · 3 years, 1 month ago

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Answer is 3.Michael tong has already explained. – Viswanath Reddy · 3 years, 1 month ago

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3 – Raj Gupta · 3 years, 1 month ago

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Someone please post if there is a more efficient way of solving this problem. Anyways: Consider first \(7^7\). After testing out the first few powers, we see that the units digit has a cycle of four (\(7, 9, 3, 1\)). Since \(7 \equiv 3 \pmod{4}\), the last digit is \(3\). We continue for \(3^7\). The powers of \(3\) also have a cycle of four (\(3, 9, 7, 1\)). By the same logic, the last digit is \(7\). We now see a pattern of \(7, 3, 7, 3, \ldots\). Since \(7\) is raised \(6\) times, we must find the last digit for all numbers with \(7\) being raised an even number of times. We find that this number is \(\boxed{3}\). – Hahn Lheem · 3 years, 1 month ago

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7 = 7

7^7 = 3

7^7^7 = 7

7^7^7^7 = 3

7^7^7^7^7 = 7

7^7^7^7^7^7 = 3

7^7^7^7^7^7^7 = 7 (which is given in the problem) -- even though he says it's raised 6 times, he means it's raised 6 times over the original 7. According to you, that means the answer would be 7.

The correct answer lies in the fact that \({{7^7}^7}^{\dots} \equiv 3 \pmod {10}\) no matter how many 7's you put on top of it. (As long as there is at least one)

You are interpreting the question as \((((7^7)^7)^7)^7 \dots\), but that is not how it is.

For example, \(7^7 = 823543\). The way you interpret it, \({7^7}^7 = 823543^7\), but actually it equals \(7^{823543}\). – Michael Tong · 3 years, 1 month ago

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– Maharnab Mitra · 3 years, 1 month ago

Hey Michael, can you please show how you get the conclusion " no matter how many 7's you put on top of it"?Log in to reply

We look mod 4 not because it tells us about the units digit, but because \(7\)'s units digit cycles with a period of 4.

\({{7^7}^7}^{\dots} \equiv 7^3 \equiv 3 \pmod {10}\). – Michael Tong · 3 years, 1 month ago

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– Mark Mottian · 3 years, 1 month ago

Hi Michael. I'm quite new to modular arithmetic. Can you please explain how \(7^{7^{7^{...}}}\) is congruent to \(7^{3}\)?Log in to reply

Hope that helped.

EDIT: Oh and to answer your original question, we know that \(7^7=7^{3 \pmod{4}} \equiv 7^3 \pmod{4}\) (remember that we are using \(\bmod{4}\) because it has a cycle of four). \(7^3 \pmod{4} \equiv 343 \pmod{4} \equiv 3\pmod{4}\). Now we have \(7^{7^{...^{3}}}\), with an infinite number of \(7\)s between the first \(7\) and the \(3\). We can continue this \(7^3\) thing infinitely, but the result will always stay as \(7^3\). – Hahn Lheem · 3 years, 1 month ago

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– Mark Mottian · 3 years, 1 month ago

That is very clear explanation for someone (like me) that is new to modular arithmetic. Thanks you for your rigorous explanation!Log in to reply

Answer is 7I could do it by some logic and observation...

We can easily calculate \(7^{7}\)=823543. So the units digit is

3.Now,

\((7^{7})^{7}\)=\(7^{7}\)x\(7^{7}\)x\(7^{7}\)..... {7 times}

We know that the units digit for \(7^{7}\) is

3. So talking just about the units digit, above expression is equivalent to(....3)x(....3)x(....3)..... {7 times}

and units digit for this expression is

7.((By (....3) I mean that the dots represent the previous digits(just for simplicity)))In short \((7^{7})^{7}\) --> 7

--- \(\boxed{1}\)((By this I just mean to say that units digit of \((7^{7})^{7}\) is 7))Similarly,

\(((7^{7})^{7})^{7}\)=\((7^{7})^{7}\)x\((7^{7})^{7}\)x\((7^{7})^{7}\)..... {7 times}

=(....7)x(....7)x(....7)..... {7 times}

(from \(\boxed{1}\))So, \(((7^{7})^{7})^{7}\) --> 3

You can go on like this and easily find out the answer. Also we can make out a pattern here to cut short the steps. The pattern is--

\(7^{7}\) --> 3

\((7^{7})^{7}\) --> 7

\(((7^{7})^{7})^{7}\) --> 3

\((((7^{7})^{7})^{7})^{7}\) --> 7

and so on we have-- 3 7 3 7 3 \(\boxed{7}\)

ANS– Upendra Singh · 3 years, 1 month agoLog in to reply

ANSWER IS 3 – Shivam Rastogi · 3 years, 1 month ago

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the easiest way would be to find the different unit ending for powers of seven and those are 1,3,7 and 9. then you could find the number of times 7 is multiplied, divide by four but keep the remainder, if the remainder is 1 then the end unit is 7 and so on. – Will Wombell · 3 years, 1 month ago

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