BBC - Berkshire - Features - 1200-year-old problem 'easy'

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- Dec 7th 2006, 06:35 AMc_323_hProblem of Dividing By Zero Solved
- Dec 7th 2006, 07:02 AMThePerfectHacker
I did not read it. But what I can say is that if this person did this then he does not know math. And I really hate these internet news things that say a person did something. I think that he is some high school teacher who is absotely not familar with abstract mathematics which is responsible to construction that we use today. My recommendation is just to ingnore it. I stopped reading it the momemt he said we can define nullity.

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EDIT: I just seen the video. WOW. What a retard. (Quick is already smarter than he is, at least Quick learned the rules and how not to break them). I want to introduce a bat to his face. - Dec 7th 2006, 07:48 AMOReilly
I am not sure what that men talking about.

He introduce some 'nullity' number but already there is something similar in computer programming which is called .NULL. and which is used as reference to nothing.

How can nothing "stretch from negative infinity, through zero, to positive infinity"?!

I mean if nothing stretch so long then it must exist, then it's not nothing!!!

He said that "nullity" number is outside of number line but still puts it into numbers?!!!

It looks stupid to me. - Dec 7th 2006, 08:19 AMThePerfectHacker
Stop, Stop, Stop! You are sounding like him now.

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The only people that can discuss these topics are mathemations. The people that know and understand how the numbers were defined. It is not a simple task, and it took many years to finally defined everything that we need. This is from one of the foundations of math, called Model Theory. But note one important feature, ALL mathemations agree with the laws of arithmetic. Now if there comes a person who wants to discuss or define new numbers, what he wants to do. He must be extrememly well-versed in abstract math. For example, Plato gave me a link yesterday to something called "infintesmall numbers". Those are numbers that less than any positive number and above zero. I know it sounds strange. But what this mathemation(s) were able to do, is to build these numbers from a mathematical foundation. All the way from the definitions. Which is why everybody agrees with them. It might not make sense physically, but as long as it makes sense mathematically, you can define anything you want to. What this guy in the video does, is something which is illegal. If he really wants to define a new number(s) he need to do it axiomatically (like the infinitsmalls numbers). You cannot just define 0/0 to be a number. Because division over the real field was only defined for non-zero elements (and there is a beautiful reason for that). Unless he extendes the definitions of the reals to include zero (which cannot be done unless he completely redefines everything). But he did not do that. All I think he is, is a scientist, who is not familar with such strict rules who breaks the rules without justification and thinks makes a big discovery.

I hate these type of people that enter into these mathematical discussions and only know basic high-school math. It is like an Admiral asking a Luitentant what to do. For example, I do not argue in String theory, because I know absolutely nothing about it. And if there is person that does know, I will simply ask and not say what should be the correct result.

But the thing I hate even more is that the people that read these things think you can do these things. There has to be a law against mathematically un-sound theories. - Dec 7th 2006, 08:27 AMOReilly

Well, I didn't see formal text of his theory so I can't really comment on his work. I agree with you that every theory must be looked from rigorous math perspective in order to agree or disagree with that theory.

Only thing I saw was that link which isn't complete theory. - Dec 7th 2006, 08:31 AMOReillyJokes about "nullity"
"I can't find the nullity button on my calculator."

"We shan't recognize nullity here in California. Some concepts are too nutty even for us."

"Next week, the professor will explain perpetual motion."

"You can't divide by zero! The Universe will implode!" - Dec 7th 2006, 08:39 AMCaptainBlack
Except it has been common in certain numerical computation environments

where 0/0=nan, 1/0=inf, -1/0=-inf, 1/inf=0,.... Which gives a system with the required

properties. The question I would like to ask is what does this guy think

nan/nan should equal, our convention is nan. This has the advantage of not crashing

a run because of division by zero type errors, but flagging where things have gone

awry.

(by the way nan stands for not-a-number, where inf, -inf and nan are part of the

IEEE standard for floating point numbers)

RonL - Dec 7th 2006, 08:47 AMCaptainBlack
- Dec 7th 2006, 08:48 AMAfterShock
We were just discussing String Theory the other day. Very few people can actually say they have a sufficient amount of knowledge in String Theory. It requires a ton of Abstract, far beyond the undergrad level, which is an insignificant portion of what it actually it is. It came up when we were trying to construct 3-D cubes in R^4...now imagine the 11th dimension. Absurd.

- Dec 7th 2006, 08:58 AMThePerfectHacker
Here is my belief why there are so few string theorist.

1)Mathemations (pure) usually do not like applied math because it cannot be defined.

2)Mathemations (applied) usally do not know abstract math because if they did they would convert to pure.

3)String theoriest are a combination of the 2:eek:

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But I do not think working in 11 dimensions is a bad as it seems. Yes it is bad based on the size of the variables used. But what I think it uses is differencial geometry and topology (homotopy groups). So if you are really well-versed in those two areas then you can follow rather easily. - Dec 7th 2006, 09:05 AMAfterShock
After have taken a rigorous non-Euclidean geometry course, viewing holonomy, various orientable manifolds on the hyperbolic plane, on a torus, determining whether they're homeomorphic to other manifolds, dihedral angles, etc and then applying the proofs, I will be happy to never take another non-Euclidean course again! Yet alone trying to analyze all these properties on greater dimensions than that I've studied.

But yeah, there are very few string theorists. - Dec 7th 2006, 03:16 PMCaptainBlack
What I find funny is the negative reaction to this proposal. This is just

another extension to the reals (also it is not in fact new) like the introduction

of infinities in the extended reals, or infinitesimals in the non-standard reals.

All that actually matters here is consistency (and possibly utility).

Personally I prefer the term/symbol nan to his nullity as it conveys the

same sort of ambiguity of status that the term imaginary does/did.

What I do object to is the presentation of this material to year 10's

as they are in no position to understand the subtleties of what is going

on, and will only confuse them.

RonL - Dec 7th 2006, 03:43 PMOReilly
- Dec 7th 2006, 05:22 PMtopsquark
- Dec 7th 2006, 05:24 PMQuick
This reminds me exactly of the "zerotical" and the "wackostic" (which is what PH was talking about when he referred to me).

This Thread has what I did (unfortunately you can't see it because it is on page 6 :eek:)

As I recall, me and topsquark made a lot of posts in a debate between how it would be defined**if**it were to be defined (neither of us thought it could)

I still prefer the definition of $\displaystyle \frac{0}{0}=0$