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Number theory question

  1. Dec 8, 2011 #1
    Suppose I think of any integer. In this case, 4. 4 has a negative and positive state -4 and +4.

    My question is, why is the positive value viewed as the 'normal' state for the number to take? Why isn't there a number 4 that isn't positive nor negative?

    +4 (4) -4

    Why doesn't (4) exist?

    Do you know what I mean?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2011 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    It isn't. +4 and -4 are not two states of the number four, they are different numbers.

    You do know what a "number" is right?
     
  4. Dec 8, 2011 #3
    I see. But they have the same magnitude but are opposite to each other.

    +4 and -4 same quantity but opposite. So why can't (4) have a quantity but no direction?
     
  5. Dec 8, 2011 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    You are still not getting it.
    Neither number has a direction by itself.
    They are each different quantities.
    -4 and 4 are as different as 1 and 9.

    A vector has a magnitude and a direction. Different beastie.
     
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