Words versus mathematics

  • #1
mcastillo356
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Hi PF

Don't you think that natural logarithm is not that natural, and complex numbers are not that complex? Words are absolutely necessary, but are so imprecise... For example, to write this post, and make this message clear, as I'm not native, I've had to look at Cambridge Dictionary online (Is this the word? :smile: ), and haven't still found entry without less than two meanings, except if it belongs to a very specific field. But maths...If introduce "e number wikipedia" search input (hope not to be kicking English once more), I get lots of words, but if I say ##e##, it's magic.

Love, greetings.
 

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  • #2
Arjan82
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I've always understood that complex numbers are indeed complex, but in the other meaning of the word. So they consists of several parts, are a composite.

And, depending who you ask, they can also be pretty difficult ;).

Lastly, we've invented math (and in particular the notation) to not be dependent on words anymore for exactly the reason you've mentioned. I believe that in the early days math problems and solutions were given in story like fashion... we've come a long way :).
 
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  • #3
fresh_42
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I believe that in the early days math problems and solutions were given in story like fashion... we've come a long way :).
It was not so much a "be given" as it was an elimination race. To my best knowledge, there first were the imaginary numbers, zeros of polynomials which you cannot see (on the real number line). Multiplication of two composite numbers isn't really composite anymore as it is complex.
 
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  • #4
BWV
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Math is complex because its simple

You can build complex chains of logic without math (legal arguments for example) but they don't have the same stable foundation to build on, so there is a limit to the complexity
 
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  • #5
Rive
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You can build complex chains of logic without math (legal arguments for example) but they don't have the same stable foundation to build on, so there is a limit to the complexity
Ugh. That's not a good example. Legal arguments has no limit of complexity (other than the salary of the involved lawyers :oldbiggrin: )
 
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  • #6
phinds
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Words are absolutely necessary, but are so imprecise
That's why physics uses math to actually describe things. Words are more for pop-science presentations.
 
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