Thread: OT: What's the answer to this equation? View Single Post
04-07-2011, 05:47 PM
#117
Peter Puck
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by louisboi514 48/cos(12) vs 48cos/12 ???? That is a bad analogy man. You can't possibly multiply a number by the term Cos... cos doesn't mean anything by itself. technically, 48/cos(12) can't logically be confused for 48cos/12 because cos(12) by itself is a number the same as saying 0.9781476. You can't compare it with something like 2*(9+3), which is originally made with multiple independent terms that being said the answer is 288
Its actually a perfect analogy. I agree that 48/cos(12) can't be logically confused with 48cos/12. I wasn't claiming it can. In fact I was pointing out that it can't. I was only using cosine to illustrate proper math notation. I think it is clear the answer is 288 but I was agreeing with an earlier poster that 2(12) could denote a function evaluated at 12.

The symbol 2 is of course usually interpreted as a number but mathematicians also use it to denote a constant function. One needs to know the context to read the equation. Of course, in the absence of context, the most natural interpretation yields 288. But the other interpretation is also valid and yields 24.

Last edited by Peter Puck: 04-07-2011 at 05:57 PM.