Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Imaginary Numbers

I would like to begin with some good news. No, I have still not been acknowledged by the Counsel of Intellectuals. And I have decided not to submit my ‘Hen and Egg’ research until they do so. However, I have been specially invited to join the Parliament of Backyard Philosophers at The Profound Words of Wisdom. I have been invited by Miss Philter Kaapi and my invitation has been supported by the votes of the majority. So I see that my intelligence has not been completely overlooked by this world.

So this would be my first(and hopefully not my last) article as a member of the Parliament. You may pretend that you are listening! I am Dr. Kinetics. I am NOT a doctor! I am a scientist. A theoretical Physicist, to be precise. I have two PhDs. I am aware that you do not and that I am much much smarter than you. I write articles which are a valuable source of intelligence on Ramblings of a Mad Scientist. MAD stand for ‘My Application’s Denied’, signifying my lack of recognition at the Council. I can therefore not join the other intellectuals... as of yet. PhD does not stand for ‘Passed With High Difficulty’. On the contrary, I exceeded the expectation of all my high school examiners every time I appeared at the examination hall. PhD means ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ and I am here to share with you my philosophy.

I would like to discuss with you the concept of imaginary numbers. No, I am not talking about your dream salary or cooked up math score or the number of degrees your great great grand daughter has. I am talking about the numbers which are multiples of the square root of negative one (-1).

Let us consider this integer (-1). It is not a natural number. This does not mean we produce such numbers in the factory. It merely means that you cannot count in negatives. Imagine two kids playing hide and seek. One of them closes his eyes and counts: “zero, minus one, minus two, minus three…”. It’s not possible! You cannot have negative quantities, even if you travel back in time or live life counting your age like Benjamin Button (a curious case indeed). And hence you cannot count in negatives. Well, unless you’re counting your score in an exam or quiz which involves negative marking for every mistake you make and you have not done well enough to balance it with sufficient right answers.

So i(Greek alphabet iota) would be an imaginary number if it is the square root of (-1). And i6789.5463 would be an imaginary number too. Because you cannot practically find the square root of (-1). That’s like finding liquid water at 0 K (Zero Kelvin or absolute zero, below which no temperature can be measured). In other words, you cannot do that. You may put that calculator away! An imaginary number is used only for theoretical purposes by Theoreticians (yes, like me).

A few days back I did a small research on the Parliament. In other words, I had a look through the blog. I notice that Kachaguli Pencil specializes in artistic sketches and uses it to skillfully humiliate his former English teacher who definitely must have been quite a disaster. I enjoy his sense of humor. Swami Unknownananda has gone away to seek his wisdom under a Bhodi tree. Masala Chai has bitten back what he was about to say. He will let you know what it is when the right time arrives. And last but not the least, Philter Kaapi is the great philosopher whose spectrum of dealings ranges from whether New Year’s eve is to be slept through or not, to How Not To Woo A Girl. I’d say that’s amazing! If we could all find out what we're not supposed to do, then we’d probably become experts in what we do DO. I’m going to follow this blog’s instructions (or rather anti-instructions) and see if I do succeed in winning my true love…

*Cough! Cough!* Ahem! I hope that introduces me now. Anyway, my posts will henceforth be visible on Profound Words of Wisdom as well, so please ‘stay tuned’. Bye for now!

Madly yours

Dr. Kinetics( MS, PhD, PhD and so on to infinity)


Philter Kaapi said...

WOOOOOO-HOOOOOO!!! We've got a DOCTOR amongst us!!!! :D YUPPIEEE!!! That means that we don't look like retards to the world anymore. We've got a DOCTOR HERE, hello? MS, PhD, phD and so on to infinity.
I dont know about you, but those credentials seem undisputable. Specially the so on to infinity part.
On a more serious note, (yeah, right, like we're ever serious), WELCOME TO THE POBP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll let you feel like a nobel laurate, doc. ;) You've got into the coolest club on the planet! :D
(yeah, melodrama, we're really good at that stuff.)

Philter Kaapi said...

About the post---absolutely AWESOME! :P Whoever knew that things like imaginary numbers EXISTED? I thought they belonged with the pink unicorns--imaginary, you know. But aha, math's that way, it makes you "materialize" the imaginary on paper. So yes, the imaginary exists. As the nerd in you so beautifully explained to us.
thank you, for such wonderful knowledge! and definitely, going by how your so skilled, this will not be your last post at the POBP.
Infact, thou shall be tortured under gunpoint to come up with more, and that's the secret that nobody in the parliment will never tell you. ;)
beautiful post!

Philter Kaapi said...

and *ever replacing the *never in the last but one sentence.

kachaguli pencil said...

potent stuff doc!!! or should i say doc doc!! :P

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