Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Arithmetic, Algebra, Mathemagic

Arithmetic can be called the study of "known" numbers, or calculation. Algebra, then, is the study of "unknown" numbers.

Arithmetic is easy. All it takes is a good teacher, and sufficient practice.

Likewise, since all real numbers (whether known or unknown) obey the same rules, algebra is easy – provided the student is well taught and well practiced.

Knowing simple algebra empowers one to do some pretty interesting and impressive things, including all kinds of "mathemagic" tricks, like the one below (involving just basic algebra).

Give it a try!

Here goes:

1. Start with the number of doors in your home.

2. Multiply by 2.

3. Add 5.

4. Multiply by 50.

5. Add the number of legs on a normal moose.

6. Subtract 335.

7. If you’ve already had your birthday this year, add this year; otherwise, add last year.

8. subtract the number of days in July.

9. Add 85.

10. Subtract the year you were born.

11. Add 29.

12. Subtract the number of ears you have.

The three or four digit number you now have reveals the number of doors in your home followed by your age.

For more, see: Mathemagics: How to Look Like a Genius Without Really Trying (pictured above) by math wizards Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer.


Copyright © 2006-present: Christopher R. Borland. All rights reserved.

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