[ASC-list] BrisScience Reminder : Numbers: From -1 to 2 raised to the power of infinity 14 December 2009
l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au
Wed Dec 9 01:53:36 UTC 2009
Monday 14 December, 2009
Numbers: From -1 to 2 raised to the power of infinity
Presented by Dr Daryl Cooper, University of California, Santa Barbara
One cornerstone of mathematics is the concept of number. We learn in
primary school that when you multiply two negative numbers the answer
is positive. A few years back a prominent columnist claimed that this
was wrong and that the answer is really negative. We will start by
explaining why the answer is indeed positive. This explanation
illustrates a key stepping stone for tonight‚Äôs lecture: all numbers
are abstractions. From here we will explain exactly what infinity is,
how to do basic arithmetic with infinity, why there are different
sizes of infinity, and why 2 raised to the power infinity is always
bigger than the infinity you first thought of!
Two lessons come from this. First one must have a very precise
understanding of a concept before trying to reason about it. Second,
and perhaps most importantly: advanced mathematics is full of
amazingly beautiful and intriguing ideas, some of which are far
crazier than the weirdest science fiction, or the most bizarre
hallucinations. However these ideas are as real and certain as that
* Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm (Doors open at 6pm)
* Venue: Ithaca Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall
* Refreshments: There will be complimentary drinks and nibblies
following the talk, and Daryl will be available to answer any questions.
* Questions? Contact Lynelle (l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au)
We wish all our members a fantastic and safe break and we hope to see
you all in 2010 for another great year of BrisScience. We will be in
touch in January with details of the series.
To join or leave our mailing list please email l.ross at smp.uq.edu.au or
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From your friendly BrisScience Co-ordinators, Joel, Andrew and Lynelle
c/o School of Mathematics and Physics,
The University of Queensland,
Brisbane Australia, 4072
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