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Math Help - number of segments

  1. #1
    rcs
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    number of segments

    Problem:
    there are 12 distinct named points on a line. How many segments can be named?


    Is there a way or formula to know the number of segments can be named in a line with distinct points?
    Please help me on this..

    thanks
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  2. #2
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    Re: number of segments

    Is that the way you think mathematics is done- by plugging numbers into formulas? Where do you think those formulas come from?

    Did you consider looking at simple cases? If there are no points, there is the single segment, (-infinity, infinity). If there is a single point, A, there are three segments, (-infinity, infinity), (A, infinity) and (-infinity, A). If there are two points, A and B, with A< B, there 6 segments, (-infinity, infinity), (-infinity, A), (-infinity, B), (A, B), (A, infinity), (B, infinity). Do you see a pattern? With n points you have the intervals from -infinity to each of the n points plus +infinity so n+1 such intervals. Then you have intervals from the "left most point" to each of the other points and to +infinity, n such intervals. That is, you have (n+1)+ (n)+ (n- 1)+ ... + 3+ 2+ 1. Do you know a formula for that? If not, can you work one out?
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    Re: number of segments

    you write too much words in your reply but all those words are pointless :P
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    Re: number of segments

    Quote Originally Posted by rcs View Post
    you write too much words in your reply but all those words are pointless :P
    Bravo! You win the grand prize for the most ungrateful response.
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    Re: number of segments

    Quote Originally Posted by rcs View Post
    you write too much words in your reply but all those words are pointless :P
    I agree that yours is not only rude in the extreme, it is not useful.

    However, I disagree with Prof. Hals on the definition of line segment. In the Hilbert/Moore system of axiomatic geometry a line segment is defined as:
    \overline{PQ}=\{P,Q\}\cup\{X:P-X-Q\}. The set of which is the union the set of two points with the set of all point between them. (see Moise)

    So the answer to your question is \binom{12}{2}.
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    Re: number of segments

    So you do not accept "infinite" line segments? I thought about that possibility.
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    Re: number of segments

    Quote Originally Posted by HallsofIvy View Post
    So you do not accept "infinite" line segments? I thought about that possibility.
    I can only speak for one set of axioms (I was a graduate assistant in several summer courses for in-service geometry teachers) based on RL Moore's notes.
    The concepts of line, ray, half-lines are all different. Those are all what one may call "infinite". A line segment has two endpoints.
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  8. #8
    rcs
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    Re: number of segments

    Of course.... My mind is disturbed.... He made it more disturbed and insulted
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