Saturday, April 12, 2014

Math Awareness Month Part 2: Infinite Series

Today's page for Math Awareness Month is about a recent video that caused some huge debate. I saw the video a month or two ago, and was very intrigued. I showed it to some of my friends, and we were arguing about the content for quite a while. It also spread rapidly around the math department at Andover, with some teachers bringing up in their classes.

Take a look at the page and try some of the exercises. You will find the outcomes very interesting and mind-boggling. The concept of infinity is difficult for any human being to grasp, making it tons of fun to think about.

Comment below what you think of the video. Do you think it is accurate? What do you think the fallacies are? How could this be a part of string theory if it is mathematically flawed?

In math class last week, we were given the following problem:

I then did the math and determined that the limit would be -1/12. I then called my teacher over, and pointed to that answer. Recalling the video, I asked him if I could rewrite that -1/12 as 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+... as my final answer. Thankfully, he got the reference. In addition to being a funny anecdote, the fact that people got the joke shows how wide of an audience this information has reached and captivated, which is amazing to see.

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