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want to clarify |m| = -m

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want to clarify |m| = -m [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2012, 11:12
someone told me that this is THE definition of absolute value and that any number works...


But maybe I'm confused, how can that work with a positive number?


if m=5

|5| = -5

This is not true, any absolute value is positive, and -5 is clearly negative....

I'm sure I'm misguided somewhere, can someone shine a light?
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Re: want to clarify |m| = -m [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2012, 03:01
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anon1 wrote:
someone told me that this is THE definition of absolute value and that any number works...


But maybe I'm confused, how can that work with a positive number?


if m=5

|5| = -5

This is not true, any absolute value is positive, and -5 is clearly negative....

I'm sure I'm misguided somewhere, can someone shine a light?


This is not the complete definition. Here it is:

|x| = x if x >= 0
|x| = -x is x < 0

e.g. if x = 5, |x| = x i.e. |5| = 5
if x = -5, |x| = -x i.e. |-5| = -(-5) = 5
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Re: want to clarify |m|= -m [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2012, 12:02
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While a tad redundant, here's my definition: the absolute value of a real number is the the non-negative value of said number, without regards to its sign.

See here for (much) more info: math-absolute-value-modulus-86462.html
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Re: want to clarify |m|= -m   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2012, 12:02
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