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How can i show my mathematical theory?

  1. Jul 27, 2014 #1
    I have a math theory about finding the root of negetive one however now i have no clue how to get it out. How can i trademark it or patent it... im a 10th grader in South Africa. I cant post it on some site as people may steal or something.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2014 #2


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    That's not the way mathematics works- no one worries about another person "stealing" an idea. If you are near a college, go to its library and look at some math journals for information on where to send it for publication. If you are not near a college, ask your math teacher for help. But don't be disappointed if you are rejected. "Complex Analysis" is a well developed subject and I can't imagine there is any new to be said about i or -i.
  4. Jul 27, 2014 #3


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    I am a little skeptical about your idea. All nth roots of -1 are well defined in terms of complex numbers. In each case there are exactly n of them.

    [tex]e^\frac{2πi(k+1/2)}{n}=cos(\frac{2π(k+1/2)}{n})+isin(\frac{2π(k+1/2)}{n})[/tex] for 0≤k≤n-1
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  5. Jul 27, 2014 #4
    This will sound harsh, but the first thing you should realize is that your theory is either rubbish or well-known (or perhaps a combination of both). You can be quite sure that it's not a breakthrough in mathematics.

    However, it can still be a nice learning experience. Discuss your theory with more advanced people and they will tell you the flaws and what to read up next. This is the way to do mathematics. Developing something entirely on your own is impossible and will not give very good theories as result.
  6. Jul 27, 2014 #5
    Okay I know about complex numbers, I researched them a bit to see what people have done sofar with the root of negetive numbers. My theory has slight similarities however its an alternative and makes more sense....not that complex numbers don't make sense...but it explains it more that complex numbers.
  7. Jul 28, 2014 #6
    Well then, find a mathematician to discuss this theory with. But don't expect much.
  8. Jul 28, 2014 #7


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    In the United States, the United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO expressly does not patent natural discoveries as they are not listed in the patentable subject areas:

    "Section 101 of Title 35 U.S.C. sets out the subject matter that can be patented:

    Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title. "

    In Europe: "the European Patent Convention does not provide any positive guidance on what should be considered an invention for the purposes of patent law. However, it provides in Article 52(2) EPC a non-exhaustive list of what are not to be regarded as inventions, and therefore not patentable subject matter:

    The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of paragraph 1:

    (a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

    (b) aesthetic creations;

    (c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;

    (d) presentations of information."

    A quick look at the South African patent office reveals that they have similar policies:

    "Section 25 of the South African Patent Act, Act 57 of 1978, specifies that a patentable invention includes new inventions in the fields of trade and industry or agriculture. However, this act excludes: new discoveries; new scientific theories; new mathematical methods; new schemes, rules or methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business; new computer programs; and presentation of information."

    As I am not an international patent attorney, I do not know which jurisdiction might allow the patent of mathematical ideas. My guess is nowhere. But at least you're out of luck in either your country, or in the United States or Europe. Sorry.
  9. Jul 28, 2014 #8


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    You can e-mail the theory to yourself, to have it on record that it is your idea, dated and all, since you cannot (AFAIK) forge an e-mail with a back date .
  10. Jul 28, 2014 #9


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    You researched them "a bit". Hmmm.

    Get yourself a copy of the https://www.amazon.com/Schaums-Outl...1442&sr=1-1&keywords=schaum+complex+variables. It's very cheap. See whether you understand everything therein, and whether you can do all the exercises easily. If you can't, then you have a long way to go before being competent enough to invent new maths involving complex numbers.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  11. Jul 29, 2014 #10


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    You can send it to me via PM if you like. I'm a theoretical physicist and publish my own work(PRL, PRD, NPB), I have no need to steal a math idea and a strong enough grasp on complex analysis to judge its merit, if you'd like.

    At the very least I could possibly inform you of similar ideas. without a course its difficult to learn about both modern and archaic approaches.
  12. Jul 29, 2014 #11
    I would argue Ramanujan against this last point, although he really is the exception to the rule.
  13. Jul 29, 2014 #12
    Ramanujan collaborated with other mathematicians.
  14. Jul 29, 2014 #13
    I thought he had limited access to materials for study and didn't 'collaborate' until most of his work was already complete. I recall reading about G. H. Hardy complaining that Ramanujan lacked a grasp of much of modern mathematics, I'll look for a reference.
  15. Jul 29, 2014 #14


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    AFAIK, Ramanujan's knowledge was mostly intuitive , and not rigorous, for good or for bad.
  16. Jul 29, 2014 #15
    And also brilliant, 3900 unique identities and equations (some rather astounding!) written in 20 years with a limited mathematical background (compared to his contemporaries) is beyond impressive.

    It could also be argued he may not have withstood the 'rigor' of modern mathematics and his lack of 'education' may have been the reason for his success.
  17. Aug 2, 2014 #16
    What I would recommend is speaking to a real mathematician about it. Don't address him like you think you've just invented the next great thing in math, rather, tell him you think you've found something interesting and ask what he can tell you about it. Has it been done before? Is it a valid finding? Where would you look if you wanted to know more about similar fields of math?

    That all being said, complex analysis is a very well-established field that's been around for quite some time, so it's probable you haven't really made any great discovery.

    Don't be discouraged: we're not trying to tell you off (at least I should hope not), but rather to refine your curiosity into something productive.
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