A loophole in Mathematics

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]

6 thoughts on “A loophole in Mathematics”

1. 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.

2. Rashmi says:

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

3. 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

4. Anonymous says:

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.