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Theorem : All numbers are equal to zero. Proof: Suppose that a=b.… - Peter Sheil [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Peter Sheil

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[Jan. 27th, 2006|11:42 pm]
Peter Sheil
Theorem : All numbers are equal to zero.

Proof: Suppose that a=b. Then
a = b
a^2 = ab
a^2 - b^2 = ab - b^2
(a + b)(a - b) = b(a - b)
a + b = b
a = 0

Furthermore if a + b = b, and a = b, then b + b = b, and 2b = b, which mean that 2 = 1.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: spodlife
2006-01-27 11:54 pm (UTC)
My A-Level maths teacher was fond of that one (though he missed out the obvious middle conclusion of a=0).
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[User Picture]From: frankblack
2006-01-28 12:42 am (UTC)
ah but there is a flaw in your argument!

(a-b) = 0 and by simplifying the equation (a+b)(a-b) = b(a-b) to (a+b) = b you're performing a division by zero, which renders the whole equation undefined.
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-01-28 01:30 pm (UTC)
Quite right, but I never claimed it was a correct proof :) All of these sorts of "proofs" use something like that which looks perfectly OK 'till you investigate it more deeply.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2006-01-28 01:31 pm (UTC)
oops, forgot to login :)
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[User Picture]From: becky44
2006-01-28 10:56 am (UTC)
My head hurts! But I think the hidden meaning is that you've been playing with your pint and quart pots again! Hint - try variable density material - but don't get too extreme with it... black holes are very hard to sweep under the carpet - just like black cats - and the event horizon - well... just be carefull there!
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-01-28 01:26 pm (UTC)
The "trick" is getting (a-b) on each side and then dividing by it since it is zero! Most of these sorts of "proofs" use that in some form or the other.
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[User Picture]From: becky44
2006-01-28 02:27 pm (UTC)
Errrr......... I seem to remember something about dividing by zero being good for the resultant cost of ink as you try to write the answer down.... hello... is that how we got the bomb?

I love these proofs but the logic side of them makes me want to scream! I once diddled with the Lorentz-Fitzgerald equation - in a maths friendly way - to see what happened and it looked good at about 3-4C - but definitely not so good any faster!
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2006-01-28 01:32 pm (UTC)
oops, forgot to login :)
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