Saturday, August 05, 2006

Earliest Mathematical Poem?

Marko Niemi just sent me this link: (click here) …It looks very interesting! ... unfortunately I can not read German. Maybe someone will translate this for us. Marko tells us it was written by the German philosopher Friedrich Schlegel in the 19th century. Even though I can not translate it, I do know the beauty of dividing by zero. Although mathematically dividing by zero is undefined, the limit as you reach zero approaches infinity. In other words if you graph 1/x you can see the asymptote blow up in your face right at zero and it is a wonderful sight!

It is also interesting to see how artists gravitate toward dividing by zero. An example of this beauty can be seen in the taoist poem above by Karl Kempton.

Here is another thought on dividing by zero

Marko just sent me a translation of Schlegel's poem I will show it in the next blog entry

Here is a link to the translation: click here

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