GMATBUDDING wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
2. What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)?
A. 0
B. 2
C. 4
D. 6
E. 8
Must know for the GMAT:
I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\), which means that the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is that same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is that same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).
II. If exponentiation is indicated by stacked symbols, the rule is to work from the top down, thus:
\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\) and not \((a^m)^n\), which on the other hand equals to \(a^{mn}\).
So:
\((a^m)^n=a^{mn}\);
\(a^m^n=a^{(m^n)}\).
Thus, \((7^3)^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).
III. The units digit of integers in positive integer power repeats in specific pattern (cyclicity): The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer power repeats in patterns of 4:
1. 7^1=7 (last digit is 7)
2. 7^2=9 (last digit is 9)
3. 7^3=3 (last digit is 3)
4. 7^4=1 (last digit is 1)
5. 7^5=7 (last digit is 7 again!)
...
1. 3^1=3 (last digit is 3)
2. 3^2=9 (last digit is 9)
3. 3^3=27 (last digit is 7)
4. 3^4=81 (last digit is 1)
5. 3^5=243 (last digit is 3 again!)
...
Thus th units digit of \(7^{12}\) will be 1 (4th in pattern, as 12 is a multiple of cyclicty number 4) and the units digit of \(3^9\) will be 3 (first in pattern, as 9=4*2+1).
So, we have that the units digit of \((17^3)^4=17^{12}\) is 1 and the units digit of \(1973^3^2=1973^9\) is 3. Also notice that [b]the second number is much larger then the first one, thus their difference will be negative, something like 11-13=-2, which gives the final answer that the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\) is 2.[/b]
[b]Answer B.
In the last line I did Units digit for xxx1 - xxxx3 = 8, Can you help what am i doing wrong.
[Reference -You mentioned unit digit will be 2 as 1-2= -2]
I think your doubt is addressed in the solution you quite. Here it is again in more details:
What is the units digit of \((17^3)^4-1973^{3^2}\)?A. 0
B. 2
C. 4
D. 6
E. 8
MUST KNOW FOR THE GMAT: I. The units digit of \((abc)^n\) is the same as that of \(c^n\).
Hence, the units digit of \((17^3)^4\) is the same as that of \((7^3)^4\) and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}\) is the same as that of \(3^{3^2}\).
II. \({(a^m)}^n=a^{mn}\) and \(a^{m^n}=a^{(m^n)}\).
Hence, \({(7^3)}^4=7^{(3*4)}=7^{12}\) and \(3^{3^2}=3^{(3^2)}=3^9\).
III. The units digit of integers in positive integer powers repeats in a specific pattern called cyclicity. The units digit of 7 and 3 in positive integer powers repeats in patterns of 4:
1. \(7^1=7\)(last digit is 7)
2. \(7^2=49\)(last digit is 9)
3. \(7^3=xx3\)(last digit is 3)
4. \(7^4=xxx1\) (last digit is 1)
5. \(7^5=xxxxxx7\) (last digit is 7 again!)
...
1. \(3^1=3\) (last digit is 3)
2. \(3^2=9\) (last digit is 9)
3. \(3^3=27\) (last digit is 7)
4. \(3^4=81\) (last digit is 1)
5. \(3^5=243\) (last digit is 3 again!)
...
Hence, the units digit of \(17^{12}\) is 1, as the 12th number in the repeating pattern 7-9-3-1 is 1, and the units digit of \(1973^9\) is 3, as the 9th number in the repeating pattern 3-9-7-1 is 3.
BACK TO THE QUESTION: Thus, we know that the units digit of \({(17^3)}^4=17^{12}\) is 1, and the units digit of \(1973^{3^2}=1973^9\) is 3. If the first number is greater than the second number, the units digit of their difference will be 8, for example, 11 - 3 = 8. However, if the second number is greater than the first number, the units digit of their difference will be 2, for example, 11 - 13 = -2.
Consider this, even if the first number were \(100^{12}\) instead of \(17^{12}\), and the second number were \(1000^9\) instead of \(1973^9\), the first number, \(100^{12}=10^{24}\), would still be smaller than the second number \(1,000^9=10^{27}\). Therefore, \(17^{12} < 1973^9\), and the units digit of the difference is 2.
Answer: B