Science X-Files

Between Zero And Infinity: The Origin Of Number One

It is really amazing how many times in a day you use the number 1. It is the number one which, is the onset of the numerical system and hence, can be indicated as the backbone of knowledge. But, what is the origin of this number 1.

In accordance with Plotinus, ‘One is the ultimate reality and source of existence. Then, the Philo of Alexandria has associated the number as the Almighty’s number as well as the basis of all the numbers.

The number 1 has evolved ever since, from a horizontal line to the vertical as it is known today. At the beginning of the first century, the mathematical genius, Ramanujan believed that the emergence of all units is attributed from a product between zero and infinity.

Between Zero And Infinity: The Origin Of Number OneLeft: Srinivasa Ramanujan, one of India's greatest mathematical geniuses/Ramanujan (centre) with other scientists at Trinity College

The start

Indeed, the question continues to haunt the civilizations, the researchers and the educators that how was it that the ancients defined One? It was repetition which gave emergence to one or unit. The unit could not have been possible without repetition. Patterns also indicate to repetition. And, it in turn gives you the ability to categorize and pursue an analysis of the surroundings.

Pierre de Fermat

Between Zero And Infinity: The Origin Of Number OnePierre de Fermat, 1601-1665, French mathematician (Public domain)

17th century witnessed the life of Fermat, a rogue philosopher and mathematician. He was not interested in publishing his articles, in fact, he did not publish any. However, his son saw his work and made it known to the public after he died.

Fermat was interested in discovering that is not known. The renowned Last Theorem was first discovered in the margin of his copy of an edition of Diophantus. It included the statement that the margin was way too small to inculcate the complete proof. And no written account of the proof was found. This simplicity of the proof has eluded mathematicians for years. He even had immense interest in integer.

There are many queries associated with his work. Did he search in depth for the implication of an integer? Did he expand the same to geometry?

The answers to all the queries take you to the start.

Geometrical Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem

In the year 2016, Dr. Luis Teia presented the proof of the Pythagoras’ theorem in 3D. And, now in the February of the year 2017, he has given an explanation to the Fermat’s theorem- a geometrical view. In accordance with him:

Between Zero And Infinity: The Origin Of Number One

– Fermat’s conjecture is with regards to the fundamental nature of an integer number.

– It provides information with regards to its mathematical and geometrical implication.

– It raises the question, of ‘What is a unit?’

– In mathematics a unit is explained by the number 1.

– In geometrical terms, a unit is explained by an element of side length one.

Teias’ proof states that there are no geometrical integers in the region of the 3-dimensional Pythagoras’ theorem and not even in all higher dimensions.

The inference

Undoubtedly, the meaning of one is evolving. It will indeed be interesting to see that how does it look in 1,000 years from now! And again, that will it have an impact on the Theorem, which have resulted in its evolution.

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