Problem 196

“Problem 196” is the name of unsolved mathematical problem: it is not known whether “Reverse-And-Add” process applied to 196 will ever result into a palindrome. In other words, it is not known if 196 belongs to Lychrel numbers.

The quest to find a palindrome derived from 196 has been underway for many years without much success. The recent efforts pushed 196 to a number with over 1 billion (!!) digits without any signs of a palindrome coming. This number is zillions times higher than M74207281 (“The Largest Known Prime Number”).

Trying to find the solution to this problem, we will concentrate on proving that 196 and other Lychrel candidates are fundamentally different from delayed palindromes and, thus, will never ever form a palindrome.