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What Is The Pigeonhole Principle?

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The pigeonhole principle is a principle widely used in computing and computer science. It is also called the Dirichlet's box principle.

The principle states that if 'A' is a particular number of pigeons and 'B' represents the number of boxes that can hold these pigeons and that if 'A>B' then there will be at least one box with more than one pigeon in it. So if you have say 7 pigeons and 6 boxes to put them in, then you will be forced to have 2 pigeons fit into any one box.

The pigeonhole principle was first stated by Dirichlet in the year 1834. Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet was a German mathematician from a town in Belgium. Dirichlet's lectures on number theory were collected and published posthumously after he died in 1859.

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