A loophole in Mathematics

by Vinaya HS on August 10, 2006

in The Mumbai Blog,The SP Jain Blog

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In one of the assignments that I was solving at 06:00 IST, I ended up with the equation:

3.65 – x + 0.5 = 1.5

Therefore, x = 2.65.

I turned to my roommate, who was also solving the same assignment at 06:00 IST, and asked him what his answer was. He merrily answered, “x = 3.65.” Crash!!!!! “How man, how?” I asked. His reply:

(3.65 – x) * 20,000 + 0.5 * 20,000 = 30,000
(3.65 – x) * 20,000 = 20,000
3.65 – x = 0

Therefore, x = 3.65.

For a minute I was convinced by his argument. I re-checked my calculations, but could not find a thing wrong. He re-checked his calculations, but could not find a thing wrong. Amazing! A feeling of serendipity began to fill the air. Had we discovered a loophole in Mathematics? Would we win the next Nobel Prize in Mathematics?

Imagine our dismay when we figured out what was happening!

Moral of the story: Don’t listen to your roommate at 06:00 IST.

[Blogged from the Library]




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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Goutham August 10, 2006 at 11:38 AM

Buddy you got 100 in Maths in XII!!! See I told you … my friend is slipping away into insanity. Now how on earth you figured that this was genuine Maths.

But I think you still try and convince somebody with this. Try out ur luck in the Garage.

Rashmi August 10, 2006 at 3:23 PM

At 6:00????!!!!I say Never listen to him!!!!:)

Venky August 10, 2006 at 8:02 PM

I wonder how he could convince you ;-)

Anoop August 11, 2006 at 8:37 AM

Hey..how on earth did ur friend assume 20,000 and 30,000…if it was there in the problem then fine..if it wasnt..then he was sure to be trying out some silly stuff with maths…and make u look stupid or trying to convience u haha :D

Raj August 22, 2006 at 2:14 PM

That was really funny!!

Anonymous December 12, 2009 at 12:23 AM

I think the situation here is quite a joke rite? I though initially that either your friend or you couldn’t find a strong link between your solution with his solution. However, by the time you see from the last step of your friend’s work. You could point out where did he do wrong… as 20,000/20,000 = 1 not 0 as it appears on his work. There you are, sometimes I make myself a sily mistake like him, specially at 6:00 in the moring… need some coffee man.

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