Look and Say

Look and say is a simple sequence generator: for example start with 1 and describe it as one one, which might be written 11 which in turn could be described as two ones, which might be written 21 which in turn could be described as one two, one one, which might be written 1211... etc. There is more information below, but this page provides a JavaScript function written by Henry Bottomley for extending the sequence. Just click on the Look and Write button. You can also change the starting point, just by typing something into the large box.

This comprises digits after cycles,
times the previous length.

More information

John Conway (formerly a professor at Cambridge and now at Princeton) has shown that the asymptotic rate of growth of the length of the string is just over 1.3. He has written about the sequence and some similarities with molecular and atomic chemistry with Richard Guy in The Book of Numbers. "Audioactive" is a pun based on the Look and Say method and radioactive elements. Online information includes Stephen Finch's page for Mathsoft on Conway's Constant, my pages on the evolution of the 92 elements and their seven possible orderings, Mario Hilgemeier's writings in Fractal Horizons, on audioactive decay and fractals, and a number of pages (only sometimes available) from Eric Weisstein's CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics on Look and Say Sequence, Conway's Constant, Conway Sequence, and Cosmological Theorem.

Go to: Top of page, Henry Bottomley's home page, 92 audioactive elements, Seven orderings for the 92 elements, JavaScript examples