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Mathematicians find ‘magic key’ to drive Ramanujan’s taxi-cab number: Original taxi-cab number’s hidden meanings make it much more than a charming mathematical oddity
Taxi-cab numbers, among the most beloved integers in math, trace their origins to 1918 and what seemed like a casual insight by the Indian genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. Now mathematicians have discovered that Ramanujan did not just identify the first taxi-cab number — 1729 — and its quirky properties. He showed how the number relates to elliptic curves and K3 surfaces — objects important today in string theory and quantum physics.