Discovering Armstrong Numbers with QBASIC

8 Min Read


In the realm of numbers and mathematics, certain intriguing patterns and properties never fail to capture our imagination. One such captivating phenomenon is that of Armstrong numbers, also known as narcissistic numbers. As we embark on a journey to understand the magic behind these numbers, we’ll explore how QBASIC, an early programming language, can be employed to unravel and identify Armstrong numbers.

A Glimpse into the Mystery

Armstrong numbers, named after the mathematician Michael F. Armstrong, are a unique class of numbers that hold a fascinating property. When an n-digit number is equal to the sum of its own digits, each raised to the power of n, it is deemed an Armstrong number. This seemingly magical property evokes curiosity and wonder, making the exploration of these numbers an engaging endeavor.

The concept of Armstrong numbers bridges mathematics and programming, offering an intriguing challenge for those interested in number theory and coding. By implementing algorithms to identify Armstrong numbers, you delve into both mathematical reasoning and problem-solving techniques. This exploration deepens your understanding of number properties and algorithm optimization.

Furthermore, investigating Armstrong numbers showcases the interplay between mathematical concepts and programming. You’ll learn to convert mathematical theories into practical code, a skill that’s highly valuable across various programming domains. This experience nurtures your ability to transform abstract ideas into tangible solutions, a hallmark of effective software development.

Exploring Armstrong numbers isn’t merely about solving a mathematical puzzle; it’s a journey that stimulates critical thinking, creativity, and the joy of discovery. Unraveling the mystery behind these numbers offers a glimpse into the elegance and intrigue of mathematics, intertwining it with the artistry of programming.

The Perfect Tool for Exploration

Expanding upon the given statement, QBASIC stands out as an exceptional programming language for exploring the intriguing realm of Armstrong numbers. With its inherent simplicity and remarkable versatility, QBASIC serves as an ideal platform for delving into the fascinating world of these special numbers. Armstrong numbers, also known as narcissistic numbers or pluperfect digital invariants, are unique mathematical constructs that hold a distinct property where the sum of their individual digits raised to a certain power equals the original number itself.

One of the primary strengths of QBASIC lies in its user-friendly interface, which offers an unintimidating environment for both beginners and seasoned programmers alike. This interface allows individuals with minimal programming experience to swiftly grasp the fundamental concepts necessary for tackling Armstrong numbers. QBASIC’s intuitive design promotes a gradual learning curve, making it an excellent choice for those venturing into the programming domain for the first time.

Identifying Armstrong Numbers with QBASIC

Let’s take a closer look at how we can use QBASIC to identify Armstrong numbers within a certain range:

SCREEN 12  ' Set the screen mode

FOR num = 1 TO 9999  ' Choose a range to search for Armstrong numbers
    sum = 0
    temp = num
    numDigits = INT(LOG(num) / LOG(10)) + 1  ' Calculate the number of digits in num
    DO WHILE temp > 0
        digit = temp MOD 10
        sum = sum + digit ^ numDigits
        temp = INT(temp / 10)
    IF sum = num THEN
        PRINT num;
    END IF


The provided code is written in BASIC and is designed to find Armstrong numbers in a specified range. Armstrong numbers are special numbers that are equal to the sum of their individual digits raised to a power determined by the number of digits.

The code begins by setting the display mode to SCREEN 12, which affects how the output is shown on the screen.

It then enters a loop that iterates through numbers from 1 to 9999. These are the numbers that the code will examine to identify Armstrong numbers.

Within the loop:

  • A variable called “sum” is initialized to store the total of digits raised to a specific power.
  • A temporary variable “temp” is set to the current number being evaluated.
  • The number of digits in the current number is determined using a logarithmic calculation, and this value is stored in “numDigits”. This number of digits determines the power to which each digit will be raised during the Armstrong number check.

The code then enters a nested loop that continues as long as “temp” (the current number) is greater than 0. Within this loop:

  • The last digit of “temp” is extracted using the modulo operator and stored as “digit”.
  • The “sum” is increased by adding “digit” raised to the power of “numDigits”.
  • The last digit is removed from “temp” using integer division by 10.

The nested loop ends when all digits of the current number have been processed. After that, an “IF” statement checks whether the calculated “sum” is equal to the original number “num”. If they are equal, it means the current number is an Armstrong number.If the number is indeed an Armstrong number, it’s displayed on the screen using the “PRINT” statement.

The program then proceeds to the next number in the specified range using “NEXT”, continuing the loop until all numbers have been checked.Finally, the program pauses briefly using “SLEEP” to allow time to view the output before the program concludes.In summary, the provided BASIC code detects and presents Armstrong numbers within a range by analyzing whether the sum of each digit, raised to a power defined by the digit count, matches the original number.


Armstrong numbers provide a captivating glimpse into the hidden patterns that numbers hold. With the help of QBASIC, we’ve embarked on a journey to explore and identify these numbers, reaffirming the synergy between mathematics and programming. QBASIC’s simplicity and power have allowed us to create a tool that not only educates but also sparks curiosity.

So, whether you’re a programming enthusiast, a mathematics lover, or simply someone looking to uncover the enchanting world of numbers, delving into Armstrong numbers through QBASIC is a delightful adventure that combines logic, creativity, and the joy of discovery.

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