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[–] NotAnOctopus 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

You were told wrong. As already stated, that is a divergent series and has no infinite sum. There are some weird ones you don't really expect like 1/n (1/1+1/2+1/3+1/4+1/5...) which actually also goes to infinity but 2^n which appears to be your series here isn't one of them. It does exactly what you expect.

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[–] wesofx [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Thank you. I can sleep easy now :) @eiffie posted a Stack Exchange link which has some interesting reads

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[–] aeschynanthus 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Quick comments: 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 16 + ... is in deed a divergent series "in the usual sense": its partial sums do not converge to any real number.

In higher maths, it is often possible to assign a result for divergent infinite sums. I'm not a mathematician but I think something called an analytical continuation can expand the domain of a function where it would otherwise be undefined.

Perhaps the answer is that mathematicians can create new rules according to which the system is consistent. But using the new rules in the old context is a no-no.

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[–] lyin4rmu 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I don't know about that series but the sum of all natural numbers (1+2+3+4+5+6+7....) is -1/12. There are a few ways to calculate this sum but I found the simplest explanation with this video. This sum is often used to calculate higher dimensions in quantum physics.

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[–] a11en 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Dude. Thanks for this video. I gotta say it seems like a load of bullshit- but who am I to argue with all of physics!?! Lol!!! (On the other hand, maybe this one calculation is the reason string theory is wrong? Rofl!!!). ;)

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[–] lyin4rmu 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Here's how I try to grasp this concept:

When you work with infinity there are an infinite amount of numbers to add and there are infinite ways to add them. With each number there are also infinite methods. Take "1" and ask how many ways to get "1"? You can add an infinite amount of numbers both positive and negative to get 1 (i.e. .5+.5-1.5+100-100+1.5......). So 1+2+3+4+5+6... can be seen as the infinite sum of infinite sums. What this -1/12 solution says is that there is one real solution of the literal infinite solutions, which all end up as infinity. It's basically a needle in an infinitely sized hay stack within an infinite number of hay stacks. Each piece of hay is a solution but we don't care about those, we want that needle.

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[–] stolencatkarma 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

It's bullshit. Infinity isn't a number it's a direction.

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[–] Schrodingers_Spy 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Infinity could be a point. This might blow your hair back.

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[–] stolencatkarma 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Ive seen that. good stuff =] no proven though. just hypothesis.

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[–] SelfReferenceParadox 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Infinity isn't a number it's a direction on the real number line.

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[–] meltingpotofhambone 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

looks like your series is ∑(n=1,infinity,2^n) so it should equal infinity. There could be another condition that was misheard.. or they are full of bullshit.

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[–] wuzizname 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I'm always really fascinated by these complex math questions at face value, but then I read the explanations and I inevitably feel sad and confused.

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[–] Dumb_Comment_Bot 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Explain like im 5 MY ASS. YOU FUCKERS EVER BEEN AROUND A 5 YEAR OLD?

They don't get it when you tell them to do two things at once let alone "quantum"

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[–] Frenchgeek 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Integer overflow.

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[–] Unreasonable 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

1-1+1-1+1-1....= 0

1+(-1+1)+(-1+1)+(-1+1)..... = 0

1 = 0

God exists.

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