Find smallest period from a >1000 digit number

Regex (.NET flavour), 23 22 bytes


This will match the required period as a substring.

Test it here.

How does it work?

# The regex will always find a match, so there's no need to anchor it to
# the beginning of the string - the match will start there anyway.
.+?        # Try matching periods from shortest to longest
(?=        # Lookahead to ensure that what we've matched is actually
           # a period. By using a lookahead, we ensure that this is
           # not part of the match.
  (.*$)    # Match and capture the remainder of the input in group 1.
  (?<=     # Use a lookahead to ensure that this remainder is the same
           # as the beginning of the input. .NET lookaheads are best
           # read from right to left (because that's how they are matched)
           # so you might want to read the next three lines from the 
           # bottom up.
    ^      # Make sure we can reach the beginning of the string.
    \1     # Match group 1.
    .*     # Skip some characters, because the capture won't cover the
           # entire string.

CJam, 20 16 bytes


Reads from STDIN. Try it online.

The above code will require O(n2) memory, where n is the length of the input. It will work with 216 digits, as long as you have enough memory.

This can be fixed the the cost of five extra bytes:


Example run

$ cjam <(echo 'Ll:Q{+_Q,*Q#!}=;') <<< 18349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109761834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710976183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097618349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109761834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710976183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097618349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109761834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710976183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097618349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109761834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710976183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097618349570345710975183495703457109751834957; echo
$ cjam <(echo 'Ll:Q{+_Q,*Q#!}=;') <<< 12345123451; echo
$ cjam <(echo 'Ll:Q{+_Q,*Q#!}=;') <<< 1234512345; echo
$ cjam <(echo 'Ll:Q{+_Q,*Q#!}=;') <<< 123451; echo

How it works

For input Q, the idea is to repeat the first character len(Q) times and check if the index of Q in the result is 0. If it isn't, repeat the first two characters len(Q) times, etc.

L                   " Push L := [].                                                       ";
 l:Q                " Read one line from STDIN and save the result in Q.                  ";
    {        }=     " Find the first element q ∊ Q that yields a truthy value:            ";
     +              "   Execute L += [q].                                                 ";
      _Q,*Q#        "   Push (L * len(Q)).index(Q).                                       ";
            !       "   Compute the logical NOT of the index.                             ";
               ;    " Discard the last q. This leaves L on the stack.                     ";

Python 60

s is the string of digits

[s[:i]for i in range(len(s))if(s[:i]*len(s))[:len(s)]==s][0]


>>> s = '18349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109761834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710976183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097618349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109761834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710976183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097618349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109761834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710976183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097618349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109761834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710976183495703457109751834957034571097518349570345710975183495703457109751834957034571097618349570345710975183495703457109751834957'
>>> [s[:i]for i in range(len(s))if(s[:i]*len(s))[:len(s)]==s][0]


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