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 Author Topic: The Riddle of Zero  (Read 1338 times)
The Fool
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 January 19, 2013, 04:41:00 PM

Is zero really nothing or what we had all along? The sum of negative infinity and positive infinity is zero after all. But even then, are we truly left with nothing at all? Is there something when we are left with absolutely nothing? Has nothing actually created something?

This is my riddle to you.
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ElectricMucus
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God of the code.

 January 19, 2013, 05:25:49 PM

Math has a solution for you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surreal_number
The Fool
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 January 19, 2013, 05:33:33 PM

The sum of negative infinity and positive infinity is zero after all.
No, you can't say that. It's not meaningful to talk about the sum of negative infinity and positive infinity.

Suppose you have a hotel with an infinite number of rooms. An infinite number of guests arrive and check into these rooms, starting with Room 1, then Room 2, Room 3, etc.

The next day, the guest in Room 1 wants to stay, but every other guest checks out, starting with Room 2, then Room 3, Room 4, etc.

An infinite number of guests arrived, and an infinite number of guests left, but Room 1 is still occupied. So does infinity minus infinity equal one?

Assuming ∞ - ∞ = 0...

Let's add 1 to both sides...

∞ - ∞ + 1 = 0 + 1

∞ + 1 = ∞ and 0 + 1 = 1...Simplify...

∞ - ∞ = 1

Interesting, infinity minus infinity can be equal to any real number...all numbers. So infinity minus infinity is still infinity.
The Fool
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 January 19, 2013, 06:23:12 PM

Math has a solution for you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surreal_number
Nice material. Wow.
ElectricMucus
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God of the code.

 January 19, 2013, 08:16:54 PM

So infinity minus infinity is still infinity.
Sure. An infinite number of guests check in to the infinite hotel. The next day, all of those in odd-numbered rooms leave. An infinite number of guests leave, but an infinite number remain.

Well yes, but it's not the same number you can say there are different infinite numbers not just "infinity".

It is also possible that there is an infinite number of rooms and infinite guests leaving resulting in finite guests remaining.
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