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seven





A lucky number in the eyes of many people and one that has been given much spiritual significance. The early religious and cultural use of the seven-day week almost certainly stems from the fact that the Moon goes through its four phases in a bit over 28 days, which divides nicely into seven days per phase. There are seven moving objects in the sky visible to the naked eye (the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn), seven seas, seven orders of architecture, seven deadly sins, and seven liberal arts and sciences, and seven dwarves. The seventh son of a seventh son is supposed to be born gifted (Donny Osmond was such a person). In the Bible, there were seven years of famine and seven years of plenty, and seven years were taken to construct King Solomon's Temple. The Pythagoreans were especially intrigued by the number as it is the sum of three and four, which are the number of sides of a triangle and a square-shapes of enormous importance to the sect. These links with Solomon's Temple and the Pythagoreans help explain the importance of seven in freemasonry.

Seven is the smallest positive integer whose reciprocal has a pattern of more than one repeating digit: 1/7 = 0.142857142857... and is the smallest number for which the digit sequence of 1/n is of length n-1 (the longest such a sequence can be). The next such numbers are 17, 19, 23, 29, 47, 59, 61, 97, 109, 113, ... Other curios: the citrus soda 7-UP, created in 1929, was so called because the original containers were 7 ounces and "up" was the direction of the bubbles, and seven is the maximum number of times you can fold any sheet of paper (try it!).


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   • NOTABLE NUMBERS