blackhole123 Posted August 28, 2006 Share Posted August 28, 2006 (taken from http://www.esmerel.com/circle/numeracy/tricks.html) Did you know there are actually no negative numbers? Think about it, have you ever actually seen a negative number of geese? Ever wonder why? It's not what you think! The reason there are no negative numbers is simply that -1 is just another way of writing 1. Watch, I can prove it. I'll even explain it as I go along. Certainly, you'll have to allow me to start with -1 = -1 Then, if I divide both sides by 1, I get -1/1 = -1/1 Now, we know that -x/y = -(x/y) = (-x)/(y) = (x)/(-y). It doesn't matter where you put the minus sign. So, from that we get -1/1 = 1/-1 And, if we take the square root of both sides, we get root(-1/1) = root(1/-1) But we can split the square roots out, so root(-1) / root(1) = root(1) / root(-1) Now, we can cross multiply (to get rid of the fractions), and get root(-1) * root(-1) = root(1) * root(1) But surely root(x) * root(x) = x. That's the definition of root(x), so -1 = root(-1) * root(-1) = root(1) * root(1) = 1 Which leaves us with -1 = 1 Which is what I told you originally. So you can see that there really are no negative numbers. this is news to me Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Cap'n Refsmmat Posted August 28, 2006 Share Posted August 28, 2006 [math]\frac{\sqrt{-1}}{\sqrt{1}} \neq \frac{\sqrt{1}}{\sqrt{-1}}[/math] He screws up right about there. [math]\frac{\sqrt{1}}{\sqrt{-1}} = -i[/math], while [math]\frac{\sqrt{-1}}{\sqrt{1}} = i[/math] Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

AL Posted August 29, 2006 Share Posted August 29, 2006 The page seems to be joking. In the first two "tricks" (cancelling digits and finding more primes), he ends by telling you to try the trick out on specific examples that blatantly do not work (i.e. reversing the digits of the prime number 23 yields 32 which is not prime, obviously, and "cancelling" the 9s out of 89/91). Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

herme3 Posted August 29, 2006 Share Posted August 29, 2006 When thinking about it logically instead of mathematically, negative numbers do not seem to physically exist. I can't think of any examples where negative numbers exist in the physical world. As the article states, you have never seen a negative number of geese. Negative numbers seem to be the absence of a positive number. It is like a number that should be there, but is missing. For example, if you write a check when you don't have enough money to pay for it. The amount of money in your bank account will be a negative number, but it isn't a real amount of money. It simply represents the amount of money that you should have, but is not there. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Cap'n Refsmmat Posted August 29, 2006 Share Posted August 29, 2006 Negative numbers seem to be the absence of a positive number. It is like a number that should be there, but is missing. For example, if you write a check when you don't have enough money to pay for it. The amount of money in your bank account will be a negative number, but it isn't a real amount of money. It simply represents the amount of money that you should have, but is not there. More accurately, it represents the amount of money you owe. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

matt grime Posted August 29, 2006 Share Posted August 29, 2006 It just reflects a choice (one that is more natural to humans, it seems) to start counting from zero. You haven't seen 'negative' number of geese becuase you choose to start counting a set with no geese as 0. This doesn't hold with temperatures. You have seen negative temperatures (in all likelihood). We could just as easily have decided that the normal amount of geese to have is 100, so 1 goose in the old money is -99 in the new. 1 and -1 are just as real as each other, not that I'm saying how real that is. It is just that it normally makes more sense to scale your world so that 0 corresponds to nothing. Note, you've not seen a 1 ever, either, just something with a property someone labels oneness. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

the tree Posted September 3, 2006 Share Posted September 3, 2006 There are lots of negative numbers: -1,-2,-3,-4,-5,-6,-7,-8,-9 just to name a few. Anyways, the point of the page is that you should be able to spot the error in them. you should be ready for these [trikcs] Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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