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Inconsistency between mathematics and our universe. 
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#1
Apr2512, 05:36 PM

P: 13

For example, when a proton and an antiproton collide, they cancel each other out. They become neutral. However when you multiply a positive and a negative number, you get a negative. You would need negative(electron) and a neutral(neutron) stay negative, but that would mean that our number system is missing an entire set of numbers.
If our universe consists of Positives(protons) Negatives(electrons) and Neutrals(neutrons) then how can we expect to describe its behavior using a number system that only consists of Negatives and Neutrals? Should there be a third branch? Positive numbers, negatives, and neutral numbers? 1, 1, +1 all being different things? Can someone explain this to me? 


#2
Apr2512, 05:44 PM

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#3
Apr2512, 05:46 PM

P: 606

I, for one, couldn't care less if our universe was inconsistent with mathematics: worse for it. Either the universe mends its ways or it'll remain inconsistent. Its call. DonAntonio 


#4
Apr2512, 05:51 PM

P: 13

Inconsistency between mathematics and our universe.
Also seeing it as addition is kind of a duhh way of looking at it. That makes a lot of sense. I dont see why i didnt look at it like that. The thing that bugs me the most is that  multiplied by + gives you . I just cannot understand why it cannot be positive for the same reasoning that it comes out to negative. 


#5
Apr2512, 05:55 PM

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Take the product x = 2 * 5 = 10. Think of this as pushing the 2 five times farther negative, away from the 0 on the number line. Does that help? 


#6
Apr2512, 05:57 PM

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Actually, the statement "Inconsistency between mathematics and our universe" doesn't even make sense. The consistency would have to be between a specific mathematical structure and some phase of "our universe". There are many mathematical structures that work very well at descriptibing specific parts of our universe of course, no one expects them to be perfect because any information from our universe is the result of measurment and measurement itself cannot be perfect.



#7
Apr2512, 05:57 PM

P: 13




#8
Apr2512, 06:01 PM

P: 13

I didn't provide a situation specifically because I intended for it to be in a very general sense. Just the way we count numbers compared to the way nature and our universe behaves does not match up. 


#9
Apr2512, 06:07 PM

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x = (1) * (2 * 5) = 10 So the (1) term gives you the final direction of the positive product. 


#10
Apr2512, 06:11 PM

P: 13

On account of halls, my point still stands. My question was clear enough to be understood, theres no sense in criticizing the way i worded it. I agree that it could have been said better but if you both know what i meant then its just nonsensical to point it out and use it as an argument. 


#11
Apr2512, 06:22 PM

P: 150

HallsofIvy was merely pointing out that this doesn't necessarily show any sort of inconsistency, because there is no reason why collision of particles and antiparticles should correspond to multiplication rather than some other mathematical operation.



#12
Apr2512, 06:23 PM

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#13
Apr2512, 06:36 PM

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We could also have define 10*1=10 and then we would obtain another number system which we can calculate with. So the question "Why is the result 10 instead of 10" is easily answered by noticing that we chose it to be this way. The question that you should be asking is "why did we choose it this way and not the other way". There are many answers to this. One answer is that otherwise the integers wouldn't be a ring, and being a ring is a very desirable property. That is, the following are true for natural numbers: a+(b+c)=(a+b)+c a+0=a=0+a a+b=b+a a*(b*c)=(a*b)*c a*1=a=1*a for nonzero a a*(b+c)=a*b+a*c a*b=b*a Now we adjoin for each element a, an element a such that a+(a)=0 We want all the above properties to still hold because they are familiar for natural numbers. From this we get: 0=10*0=10*(1+(1))=10*1+10*(1)=10+10*(1) Adding 10 to both sides gives us 10=10*(1) So IF the above identities are all true, then it immediately FORCES us to accept 10=10*(1), we have no other choice. This is a pure mathematical way of looking at things, but there are other ways as well!! For example, one may motivate the existence of negative numbers with a bank account. In this case, if you have 10$ then this means that you owe the bank 10$. So you are in debt. What happens if your debt is twice as big?? Then we should look at 2*(10$). It makes sense that this value should be 20$ rather than 20$. Because if 2*(10$)=20$, then there is no easy way to describe your debt being doubled!! Things like 2*(10$)=20$ happen a lot in real life, things like 2*(10$)=20$ are much less occuring and thus not interesting. 


#14
Apr2512, 06:51 PM

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(2) + (2) + (2) +(2) +(2) = 10 You wouldn't expect that adding 5 negative terms would give you something positive would you? Nor would multiplying a negative number by a positive number give you a positive result. 


#15
Apr2512, 07:01 PM

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If you're going to complain (twice) about what someone said, at least take the time to try to understand exactly what was said. 


#16
Apr2612, 03:52 AM

P: 137

Of course the OP is wrong, but I would like to point out that 00Svo is excusable.
Physicists are often lost for words, I smile when I read that particles have flavour, charm, etc. Isn't that poetical? Now, they say that there is antimatter, that an electron and a positron annihilate themselves. Op is only quoting them: Trying to explain the basic linguistic/semantic/logic mistake with brilliant, clear explanations, masterly but 'mathematical' arguments... ... +1 and 1 do annihilate themselves, dissolve themselves into 0, nil, nihilum, the Nothingness. ... antiparticles do not, they complement each other, transform into a photon, more or less like Na and Cl 'cancel each other out' into kitchen salt. 


#17
Apr2612, 03:57 AM

P: 606

1) You weren't criticised because of your grammar. If at all, it was because of the title you decided to give your post 2) The community here is mostly academics/students; it is expected people will be able to express themselves properly and within a certain level of correct grammar, putting aside people for which english is not their mother tongue. 3) You were already given an explanation how to comprehend and understand products of positive and negative numbers. You may think still this is in contradiction or not in accordance with what you see in the universe, but so far it doesn't seem to be an example by you that shows this. DonAntonio Ps. The blue coloured fonts here are cute and provide a nice contrast, imo, with the black ones. That's their point. 


#18
Apr2612, 04:35 AM

P: 761

You first mistake is to make a confusion between "physical modelling" and "computation". There is no inconsistency in mathematics used in the addition or in the multiplication of positive and negative numbers. But numbers and physical objects are not the same things. The inconsistency is in your way to model a proton and an antiproton collision. Your false modelling involves a mathematical operation which is not the good one. Then, even if the operation is correctly carried out (without mistake in the mathematical process), it is not suprising that the result be false. So, you should not write "Inconsistency between mathematics and our universe", but: "Inconsistency between my own model of universe and our real universe". 


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