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The Forum > General Discussion > Infinity = -1/12

Infinity = -1/12

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Or to put it more directly 1+2+3+4+5... = -1/12

Innocuous enough but this little equation has got some sections of the internet buzzing leading to derision from parts of the maths community and defence from physicists.

Here is the Youtube clip that kicked the debate off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w-I6XTVZXww

A very fragmented education has left me with less than satisfactory mathematical foundations but I am still intrigued by the subject. The two in the video above do dumb things down for us plebs and that is where most of the criticism has been directed.

But in many ways the furore forces an examination of reality vs abstract and I have been having enormous fun debating others on the notion so I thought I would bring it here for others to enjoy if so inclined.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 1:04:15 PM
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Great, facinating, thanks, Bye.
Posted by spindoc, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 1:31:27 PM
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Dear Steele, (Hi),

I'll be reading the posts on this discussion
with great interest. And I hope to learn something
from doing that. However, as maths was never
my strong suit - I can't contribute anyting of value.
It's way over my head. I'll be admiring those who
can. I only wish I could.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 8:38:06 PM
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To BEGIN WITH..infinity..isnt a number
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=infinity+is+not+a+number&i

and if it was a number..it would be a whole..NUMBER
Not a fraction..[let alone..a minus fraction..[the only WAY..YOUR RESULT COULD BE CORRECT..is by deceit..and by confounding/BAFFLING IGNORANT'S WITH BULLs hit]

adding infinite numbers WOULD RESULT IN A bigger but whole number
bUT WHY BOTHER?..9.999.99999.999.6 out of 9.9999999.9999 couldn't care LESS.

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=quantum+fractions&
dammm i wernt going to post nuthin..to..no one

ANYHOW work backwards..from positive infinity..TO NEGATive infinity
the answer is zero..eitHER WAY...few people study math..because..the theory and imaginary numbers..IS often AS Absurd..as their warminG-models
Posted by one under god, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 9:01:10 PM
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SteeleRedux, I can see why 1 - 1 + 1 - 1 + 1 1 might be thought to = . But I'm not sure that this conclusion is right, as the real answer could be either 1 or 0 but never . So is simply the average of the correct answers, but is not a correct answer in itself.

The conclusion that 1! = -1/12 is based on this sort of thinking, which I'm afraid does not inspire my confidence!

So, what are the key points to the debate that you have been having elsewhere?
Posted by Ludwig, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 9:36:22 PM
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Dear Steele,

I've been thinking about infinity.
And I had always assumed it was an abstract concept.
With no beginning and no end.
Therefore I would have assumed that no amount
of numbers could explain it. Numbers are a creation of
man, and infinity existed before our time.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 9:42:20 PM
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