I was curious if the Collatz Conjecture could be utilized to become a valid sorting algorithm, so I wrote up some notes and solved out a list of six numbers. But first, here’s the approach I used:

As you might guess, this is an incredibly inefficient sorting algorithm. However, based on my notes, it seems like it has promise. I decided to implement it in python, because it’s python.

Here’s the code, with periods for whitespace:

`# Array of original numbers to sort`

sortMe = [14, 31, 7, 43, 3, 13]

sortedMe = []

run = True

# copy over the original values

copy = []

for i in sortMe:

copy.append(i)

while(run):

run = False

for y in xrange(len(copy)):

run = (run or (copy[y] != 1))

for x in xrange(len(copy)):

temp = copy[x]

if(temp == 1):

if(sortMe[x] != 0):

sortedMe.append(sortMe[x])

sortMe[x] = 0

else:

pass

elif(temp % 2 == 0):

temp = temp / 2

elif(temp % 2 != 0):

temp = ( 3 * temp ) + 1

copy[x] = temp

print(sortedMe)

So, I ran this, giving me the result:

`[3, 13, 7, 14, 43, 31]`

…Well, shucks. Turns out the Collatz Conjecture is not a valid sorting algorithm.

Thanks for Reading!

-Tsoccer93