Magic-number definitions

Any of the numbers, 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126, that represent the number of neutrons or protons in strongly bound and exceptionally stable atomic nuclei.
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The number of wins by a leading team and losses by its closest competitor required in order for the leading team to capture a championship or secure a playoff spot.
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Any of the numbers, 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126, that represent the number of neutrons or protons in strongly bound and exceptionally stable atomic nuclei. The existence of such stable nuclei is explained by assuming a shell structure for nucleons, much like the shell structure of electron orbitals around the nucleus.
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In programming, a magic number is a constant value used to identify a file format, protocol or error code. In many file formats, the first few bytes identify the file; for example, "PK" in ZIP files and the hex values "F8 D8" in JPEG files.Certain communications protocols use a magic number, such as the hex values "63 82 53 63" at the start of every DHCP packet or "FF 53 4D 42" at the beginning of every SMB request. See DHCP and SMB.Magic ConstantsThe term also refers to fixed values in a program that are never expected to change. For example, an algorithm involving playing cards might frequently use the magic constant "52" without jokers or "54" with jokers (or "51" and "53" for offset addresses).
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(physics) The number of neutrons or protons in nuclei which are required to fill the major quantum shells, and thus produce exceptionally stable nuclei - 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82 & 126
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(baseball) A metric used to determine a team's required performance to make the playoffs.
  • The sum of one and the wins by one team and losses by an opponent necessary for the team to ensure the opponent cannot catch it in the standings by the end of the regular season. In Major League Baseball, with a regular season of 162 games, the magic number M is calculated as M = 163 - W1 - L2, in which W1 is the leading team's current win total, and L2 is the opponent's current loss total. A magic number of 0 indicates that the trailing team cannot catch the leading team.
  • By extension, the lowest such number that assures a team a playoff berth.
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(computing)
  • A number which is manually entered into source code, rather than defined somewhere as a named constant; especially one which is arbitrary or lacks explanation.
    We replaced the magic number 31 with a constant called MAX_DAYS_IN_MONTH.
  • A number which cannot occur in normal use, used as a placeholder (e.g. a fictitious date such as 2000-02-32) or for other purposes (e.g. where the string slicing function RIGHT or RIGHT$ is not implemented, the same effect can be achieved by using (e.g.) MID(A,3,10538) or MID(A,3,6031769) to achieve the effect of RIGHT(A,3), because no feasible string is anywhere near that long).
  • A hash code, such as those used by some webmail servers to keep track of sessions.
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