Feynman lectures question where he explains math in terms of nuts

  • #1
Trouts2
0
0
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Google search on Feynman physics.
Feynman lectures question where he explains math in terms of nuts.

Feynman has a few lectures where he explained math numbers with Mayan counting as an example.

I am not looking for that example. The example

I am looking for is where he just uses nuts to give examples of math, add,

subtract, multiply, square root & etc. His purpose was to explain concepts

of the math he would be using in his lectures. He explained that he would

not be using actual number in explaining quantum mechanics as that was

not necessary and bothersome so he would be eliminating that from his

explanations by using small numbers. For example in finding directions

of vectors he would only use simple numbers to get answers as real

calculations with actual numbers were not needed for understanding of how

the direction was arrived at.

I think I saw him give the nuts example in the YouTube series

Richard Feynman: Quantum Mechanical View of Reality

There are about 10-12 videos in the series but depends on how the poster

broke them up as individual posts.

The lectures were wonderful and very difficult for me. The nuts math

part was extra special and I would like very much to find that video section

again. I have gone through the starting lectures a few times as I seem to

remember being in that part of the full series but without finding them. I

may have seen the nuts explanation in an individual video but that was

quite a while ago so am not sure of my remembrance but think it was

in the series where he is first in a dark running like outfit and later in the

series with a light shirt and dress pants.

If anyone knows this particular explanation and provide a link I will

honor your ancestors as going over it again would be special for me.
 
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  • #2
Welcome

to

PF. :smile:

What kind of device

are you posting from

that keeps inserting

a blank line

between lines?

Just

curious... :wink:
 
  • Haha
Likes phinds
  • #3
berkeman said:
Welcome

to

PF. :smile:

What kind of device

are you posting from

that keeps inserting

a blank line

between lines?

Just

curious... :wink:
Unintentional cut and paste from MS Word.
 
  • #4
Okay, so bad Microsoft. Got it.

Sorry that I couldn't decode what you wrote; is there a question in all of that whitespace? :smile:
 
  • #5
Reply

I don't appreciate the wise cracks.

 
  • #6
Trouts2 said:
Reply

I don't appreciate the wise cracks.

Well, fair enough, but hopefully you do see that your post was extremely weird for a discussion forum. And my reply still stands...

berkeman said:
Sorry that I couldn't decode what you wrote; is there a question in all of that whitespace? :smile:
 
  • #7
I don't know about youtube videos, but here is a quote from his book, QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter:

The Maya Indians were interested in the rising and setting of Venus as a morning “star” and as an evening “star”—they were very interested in when it would appear. After some years of observation, they noted that five cycles of Venus were very nearly equal to eight of their “nominal years” of 365 days (they were aware that the true year of seasons was different and they made calculations of that also).

To make calculations, the Maya had invented a system of bars and dots to represent numbers (including zero), and had rules by which to calculate and predict not only the risings and settings of Venus, but other celestial phenomena, such as lunar eclipses. In those days, only a few Maya priests could do such elaborate calculations.

Now, suppose we were to ask one of them how to do just one step in the process of predicting when Venus will next rise as a morning star—subtracting two numbers. And let’s assume that, unlike today, we had not gone to school and did not know how to subtract. How would the priest explain to us what subtraction is?

He could either teach us the numbers represented by the bars and dots and the rules for “subtracting” them, or he could tell us what he was really doing: “Suppose we want to subtract 236 from 584. First, count out 584 beans and put them in a pot. Then take out 236 beans and put them to one side. Finally, count the beans left in the pot. That number is the result of subtracting 236 from 584.” You might say, “My Quetzalcoatl! What tedium—counting beans, putting them in, taking them out—what a job!” To which the priest would reply, “That’s why we have the rules for the bars and dots.

The rules are tricky, but they are a much more efficient way of getting the answer than by counting beans. The important thing is, it makes no difference as far as the answer is concerned: we can predict the appearance of Venus by counting beans (which is slow, but easy to understand) or by using the tricky rules (which is much faster, but you must spend years in school to learn them).”
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #8
Hill said:
“Suppose we want to subtract 236 from 584.
First, I would add 4 to both numbers, then add 60 to both numbers:
$$584 - 236 = 588 - 240 = 648 - 300 = 348$$
 

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