A sum-product number is an integer that in a given base is equal to the sum of its digits times the product of its digits. Or, to put it algebraically, given an integer n that is l digits long in base b (with dx representing the xth digit), if
then n is a sum-product number in base b. In base 10, the only sum-product numbers are 0, 1, 135, 144 (sequence A038369 in OEIS). Thus, for example, 144 is a sum-product number because 1 + 4 + 4 = 9, and 1 × 4 × 4 = 16, and 9 × 16 = 144.
1 is a sum-product number in any base, because of the multiplicative identity. 0 is also a sum-product number in any base, but no other integer with significant zeroes in the given base can be a sum-product number. 0 and 1 are also unique in being the only single-digit sum-product numbers in any given base; for any other single-digit number, the sum of the digits times the product of the digits works out to the number itself squared.
Any integer shown to be a sum-product number in a given base must, by definition, also be a Harshad number in that base.
In binary, 0 and 1 are the only sum-product numbers. The following table lists some sum-product numbers in a few selected bases:
|Base||Sum-product numbers||Values in base 10|
|4||0, 1, 12||0, 1, 6|
|5||0, 1, 341||0, 1, 96|
|7||0, 1, 22, 242, 1254, 2343||0, 1, 16, 128, 480, 864|
|9||0, 1, 13||0, 1, 12|
|10||0, 1, 135, 144||0, 1, 135, 144|
|12||0, 1, 128, 173, 353||0, 1, 176, 231, 495|
|36||0, 1, 16, 22O||0, 1, 42, 2688|
The finiteness of the list for base 10 was proven by David Wilson. First he proved that a base 10 sum-product number will not have more than 84 digits. Next, he ruled out numbers with significant zeroes. Thereafter he concentrated on digit products of the forms or , which the previous constraints reduce to a set small enough to be testable by brute force in a reasonable period of time.
From Wilson's proof, Raymond Puzio developed the proof that in any positional base system there is only a finite set of sum-product numbers. First he observed that any number n of length l must satisfy . Second, since the largest digit in the base represents b - 1, the maximum possible value of the sum of digits of n is and the maximum possible value of the product of digits is . Multiplying the maximum possible sum by the maximum possible product gives , which is an upper bound of the value of any sum-product number of length l. This suggests that , or dividing both sides, . Puzio then deduced that, because of the growth of exponential function, this inequality can only be true for values of l less than some limit, and thus that there can only be finitely many sum-product numbers n.
In Roman numerals, the only sum-product numbers are 1, 2, 3, and possibly 4 (if written IIII).