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April 16th, 2007
09:16 pm Numbers, numbers, everywhere ...

Those of you who've had the privilege misfortune of having me for Discrete Math know about my really bad Proof by Contradiction:

Theorem: There are no uninteresting natural numbers.
Proof: Notice that the first several natural numbers have interesting properties.  0 is the additive identity; 1 is the multiplicative identity; 2 is the first prime; 3 is the first odd prime; 4 is the first composite number; 5 is the first number which is the sum of two different primes, and so on.  So, suppose by contradiction that there are uninteresting natural numbers.  Let U be the set of uninteresting natural numbers; as a subset of the natural numbers, by the Well-Ordering Principle, U has a least element n.  But the smallest element of a set is by definition interesting, so n cannot exist.  Thus, U cannot exist, and all natural numbers are interesting.

Yeah, it's a pretty stupid joke.  It goes over slightly better in class.

Anyways ... the web page linked above is one person's attempt to find the interesting properties of all numbers between 0 and 9999.  Not every number has a property yet ... but an amazing number do have.

Current Mood: geeky From: April 17th, 2007 10:01 am (UTC)  