I read this thread
some time ago and wanted to shed some light on some things. Now I'm
not very good at math, but I doubt math is wrong. When I was in High school, not that long ago, I read a book called "Zero: The Biography of a
Dangerous Idea" by Charles Seife. If you like history or math this is a nice book to read. The author goes over the history of math from the
Babylonians to the Mayans to the Greeks and Pythagoras, so on and so forth.
The author talks about the "void" of zero. Zeno came up with a problem that the author claims plagued mathmaticians and philosophers for hundreds of
years. It is often called simply "Achilles". It's a race between famed Achilles and a tortoise. The tortoise gets a foot start of Achilles, say for
simplicity Achilles runs at a foot per second and the tortoise half of that, no matter how fast Achilles is he never passes the tortoise. We all know
he would easily pass him but without zero no one could make it happen on paper. Every time Achilles would catch the tortoise the tortoise would
quickly get ahead by a quarter, an eigth, a sixteenth, and so forth. It is a little trick to do with zero's cousin, infinity. Of course doing the math
Achilles would pass the tortoise around 2 seconds.
The author goes into more complex ideas and paradox's about zero as the book goes on. Some neat tricks to do with zero goes as follows.
It's obvious A equals itself Asquared=Asquared
Now subtract the two problems. A sq - B sq = A sq - AB
We can factor both sides of the equation; A sq - AB equals A(A-B). Likewise, A sq - B sq = (A+B)(A-B). Now we get...
So far so good, now divide both sides of the equation by (A-B) and we get A+B=A
Subtract A from both sides and we get B=0
WOW! However we set B to equal 1 so this means that 1=0.
Now we all know that one does not equal zero. Charles Seife goes on to make Sir Winston Churchill into a carrot by using this set of equations since
he has 2 arms he has no arms, since he has 2 legs he now has no legs, he has no tapered points now he has 1 tapered point, and so on and so forth.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN MATH IS WRONG
just that there are loop holes where we can do some funny and interesting things. Such as making your own worm
hole time machine!
As I said I wanted to share some things about this book with people and hopefully some of you will enjoy this interesting and compelling book.
You don't have be a mathematical genius to read this, I read it and the highest math level I completed was a college trig course. For
those that love math I'm sure you will like, or even dislike this book.
The book is available for
only a few dollars if interested
edit on 16-9-2011 by AudioGhost because: spelling