# Factorial Calculator: Definition, Formula, Examples, and Tips

Published: 4/26/2021 Last updated: 2/24/2023

Factorial is a mathematical concept that refers to the product of all positive integers from 1 up to a given number. It is denoted by an exclamation mark (!) following the number. For instance, the factorial of 5 is written as 5!, which is equal to 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120. The factorial function is used in a variety of mathematical applications, including probability, combinatorics, and statistics.

## Formula for Calculating Factorials

The formula for calculating factorials is simple: multiply the number by every positive integer that comes before it. In other words:

n! = n x (n-1) x (n-2) x ... x 3 x 2 x 1

For example, to calculate the factorial of 6, you would perform the following calculation:

6! = 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 720

It's worth noting that the factorial function is only defined for non-negative integers. In other words, you cannot calculate the factorial of a decimal or a negative number.

## Examples of Factorial Calculations

Factorials can be calculated for any non-negative integer. Here are a few examples:

• 2! = 2 x 1 = 2
• 3! = 3 x 2 x 1 = 6
• 4! = 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24
• 5! = 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120
• 6! = 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 720

## Explanation of Factorial Calculations

The factorial function is often used in probability and combinatorics to calculate the number of possible outcomes in a given scenario. For example, if you are flipping a coin three times, you can use the factorial function to calculate the total number of possible outcomes:

3! = 3 x 2 x 1 = 6

This means that there are six possible outcomes when flipping a coin three times: HHH, HHT, HTH, THH, TTH, and THT (where H represents heads and T represents tails).

Factorials can also be used in statistics to calculate permutations and combinations. Permutations are the number of ways to arrange a set of objects in a particular order, while combinations are the number of ways to choose a subset of objects from a larger set, regardless of the order. Both permutations and combinations can be calculated using factorials.

#### What is the factorial of 0?

The factorial of 0 is defined as 1. In other words, 0! = 1.

#### What is the largest factorial that can be calculated?

The largest factorial that can be calculated depends on the computing power available. However, due to the rapid growth of factorials, even relatively small values can quickly become too large to calculate. For example, 20! is equal to 2,432,902,008,176,640,000, which is already a very large number.

#### Can decimals or negative numbers have factorials?

No, the factorial function is only defined for non-negative integers. Decimals and negative numbers do not have factorials.

#### How can I calculate factorials quickly?

Calculating factorials can become time-consuming for large numbers. One way to quickly calculate factorials is to use a factorial calculator, which can be found online. These calculators use algorithms to quickly and accurately calculate factorials.

## Conclusion

The factorial function is a fundamental concept in mathematics, with applications in probability, combinatorics, and statistics. It is calculated by multiplying a number by every positive integer that comes before it. Factorials can be calculated for any non-negative integer, but become quickly unwieldy for large values. By using a factorial calculator, you can streamline your calculations and save valuable time in your work.

Great! I hope this article was helpful in explaining the concept of factorials and how they are calculated. By using a factorial calculator, you can save time and streamline your calculations in your work. Remember to always check your results and make sure they make sense in the context of your problem. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading!

## References                                                                              