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ASTOUNDING!!! What is 1 + 2 + 3 +4 + ...

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ASTOUNDING!!! What is 1 + 2 + 3 +4 + ...  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2014, 01:41
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Re: ASTOUNDING!!! What is 1 + 2 + 3 +4 + ...  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2014, 12:49
Bunuel wrote:

Disclaimer: please do NOT apply this on the test!!! Very much out of scope!!!



What would you say is the value of 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + ... to infinity ? I bet you'd be surprised to know it's:

\(-\frac{1}{12}\)

Bunuel,
This is great! It's funny the way those guys, physicists, talk about how the sum is "really" -1/12. Yes, that's really what it would be for Physicists, especially for String Theorists, but not at all what it would be for Mathematicians! This entire discussion really gets into some very profound areas --- the difference between the math used in Physics and the math used in pure Mathematics; the difference between operational mathematics and mathematical rigor; the deeply ambiguous nature of infinity and exactly what it means; the relationship of mathematical ideas to the physical world; etc. It think most students here would not appreciate that mathematics, far from being a totally cut-and-dry unambiguous field, is at higher levels very much a matter of multiple possibilities governed by convention and tastes. All this is well beyond the GMAT or anything particularly relevant to the business world, but it certainly is fascinating.
Thanks for posting this.
Mike :-)
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New post 31 Jan 2014, 13:32
Mind blown!! :D

Thanks for sharing.
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New post 31 Jan 2014, 15:22
So next time the bank calls me for the loan, I can just show them this video and give 8 cents? Or rather inform them that they owe me 8 cents to be exact... that will teach them!
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New post 01 Feb 2014, 13:06
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Wooow.... Am I glad that I decided against becoming a physicist... Else wouldn't have got past the first chapter of the book...
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New post 01 Feb 2014, 14:13
This is amazing Bunuel! Love this kind of stuff. Do you have more of these videos?
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New post 02 Feb 2014, 02:27
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New post 02 Feb 2014, 10:31
There is one little thing I do not fully understand in this equation. When he is calculating 2S(2), he shifts the second row a bit. On what ground is he allowed to do that?
I am probably missing something stupid ..
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New post 10 Feb 2014, 09:42
It gave me a headhache trying to understand... This is really complex... :)
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New post 14 Jan 2015, 02:59
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Re: ASTOUNDING!!! What is 1 + 2 + 3 +4 + ...  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2015, 08:14
Just have an observation;

If you take the numbers they are taking, [1, 2, 3, 4], than 2S2 ==> 1 -2 + 1 + 3 - 2 - 4 + 3 - 4 This is exactly what they are saying in the video.

The result of this is not 1/4,as you can see but - 4. BUT they are using infinity. Therefore, here is where I got confuse. Since they are moving aside the second serie (to get the 1 - 1 + 1 ... ), it also shift the last number no? Therefore the last number must be moved aside too.

Example: if you go until 10, then your serie will be -10. And so forth until infinity. If the serie will go until 1, then the result will be 11.

In consequence, the last number is either + or - infinity.

S2 = + or - infinity.

Then, we know that S - S2 = 4S

So S = -S2/3

If S2 = + infinity then the result is negative and will not have any sense.

But if S2 = - infinity than S = + infinity, which make a bit more sense!

Please tell me what to think about this, and if I am wrong, where did my logic is wrong!

Thanks for this video again!
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New post 10 Jan 2018, 00:05
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Re: ASTOUNDING!!! What is 1 + 2 + 3 +4 + ...  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 02:37
Bunuel wrote:
Bump........................


Completely agree with this author that the guys from Numberphile did not tell anything about zeta functions. The proof that 1-1+1-1...infinity is 1/2 is also nonsense for mathematicians.

https://plus.maths.org/content/infinity-or-just-112
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Re: ASTOUNDING!!! What is 1 + 2 + 3 +4 + ...   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2018, 02:37
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