The Future Is Here

# An easy-to-make sequence that fooled random number checkers

Take a look at Champernowne's Constant. It's a ridiculously easy sequence to make, and yet it fooled programs designed to root out underlying order in seemingly random numbers.

David Gawen Champernowne was born in 1912. When he was an undergraduate in college, he published a seemingly simple number. Champernowne's Constant is formed by taking the sequence of whole numbers - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on – and putting them behind a decimal point. So a long sequence of Champernowne's Constant would be as follows:

0.12345678910111213141516171819202122232425 2627282930...

It's just the whole numbers in order with the commas removed between them — it is called a "normal" number. The term "normal" is the key to fooling early computers looking for patterns. Select any single digit from a huge sequence of Champernowne's Constant, and there will be a 10 percent chance of getting a 9. There will also be a ten percent chance of getting a 0, or any other digit.