/ software-engineering

Erlang - Playing with Big Numbers

I am indeed excited to see the outcome of a **simple factorial implementation** I have just written (copied and pasted from [here](http://learnyousomeerlang.com/recursion)).

```

1 %% File: arith.erl

18 fac(0) -> 1;

19 fac(N) when N > 0 -> N*fac(N-1).

```

<p style="font-size: 4rem; font-weight: 700; text-align: center;">

Look at this!!!

</p>

I took the factorial of 1 then 2 then 3 then all the way to 1000! I dare you try doing the same with **Java**.

```

$ erl

....

33> c(arith,[native]).

{ok,arith}

34> arith:fac(1).    

1

35> arith:fac(2).

2

36> arith:fac(3).

6

37> arith:fac(4).

24

38> arith:fac(5).

120

39> arith:fac(6).

720

40> arith:fac(7).

5040

41> arith:fac(8).

40320

42> arith:fac(9).

362880

43> arith:fac(10).

3628800

44> arith:fac(100).

93326215443944152681699238856266700490715968264381621468592963895217599993229915608941463976156518286253697920827223758251185210916864000000000000000000000000

45> arith:fac(1000).

402387260077093773543702433923003985719374864210714632543799910429938512398629020592044208486969404800479988610197196058631666872994808558901323829669944590997424504087073759918823627727188732519779505950995276120874975462497043601418278094646496291056393887437886487337119181045825783647849977012476632889835955735432513185323958463075557409114262417474349347553428646576611667797396668820291207379143853719588249808126867838374559731746136085379534524221586593201928090878297308431392844403281231558611036976801357304216168747609675871348312025478589320767169132448426236131412508780208000261683151027341827977704784635868170164365024153691398281264810213092761244896359928705114964975419909342221566832572080821333186116811553615836546984046708975602900950537616475847728421889679646244945160765353408198901385442487984959953319101723355556602139450399736280750137837615307127761926849034352625200015888535147331611702103968175921510907788019393178114194545257223865541461062892187960223838971476088506276862967146674697562911234082439208160153780889893964518263243671616762179168909779911903754031274622289988005195444414282012187361745992642956581746628302955570299024324153181617210465832036786906117260158783520751516284225540265170483304226143974286933061690897968482590125458327168226458066526769958652682272807075781391858178889652208164348344825993266043367660176999612831860788386150279465955131156552036093988180612138558600301435694527224206344631797460594682573103790084024432438465657245014402821885252470935190620929023136493273497565513958720559654228749774011413346962715422845862377387538230483865688976461927383814900140767310446640259899490222221765904339901886018566526485061799702356193897017860040811889729918311021171229845901641921068884387121855646124960798722908519296819372388642614839657382291123125024186649353143970137428531926649875337218940694281434118520158014123344828015051399694290153483077644569099073152433278288269864602789864321139083506217095002597389863554277196742822248757586765752344220207573630569498825087968928162753848863396909959826280956121450994871701244516461260379029309120889086942028510640182154399457156805941872748998094254742173582401063677404595741785160829230135358081840096996372524230560855903700624271243416909004153690105933983835777939410970027753472000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

46>

```

##Verify

- Try that with Google Calculator:

![](/content/images/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-02-at-18-12-43.png)

**Infinity!!!** Don't believe that!

- Now try Wolfram Alpha

![](/content/images/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-02-at-18-22-20.png)

(credit: WolframAlpha. Sorry WolframAlpha, but I cannot just sign up for a pro just to take an image of the result.)

**Now this looks correct 4.02387...E2567**

Erlang - Playing with Big Numbers
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