Continued from page 1
The why to complex question suddenly became crystal clear. But I wasn’t finished with question as yet. I decided to use one of search engine Google, latest innovation to get a bit more info about why behind 1+1=2. I therefore connected to Google Answers! Google Answers is a sort of forum where individuals ask questions and tag an amount of money on former. A specialist then answers your question and pockets money. The best part of it though is if a question had already been asked and answered, anybody could view both question and answer free of charge.
I entered ‘1+1=2’ is search form and lucky me… somebody else had already asked why 1+1=2 and a mathematician had indeed given an answer.
I was satisfied and thought that that question was now filed. After having joked about it, questioned my kid brother, emailed astronomers and googled it, I think I now finally have a rather good and simple answer to why behind 1+1=2.
“In number base systems higher than ‘2’, 1+1=2 because it is defined as such. Based on definitions of number ‘2,’ number ‘4’ and mathematical operation of addition, answer is always same.”
Such a simple question, which is at base of so many complex equations, isn’t that simple after all, is it? There is actually an entire book, Principia Mathematica by Whitehead and Russell (not one by Sir Isaac Newton) which devotes several hundred pages to deriving and explanation of just why 1+1=2.
Khalil A.Cassimally is the editor in chief of Astronomy Journal and Astronomy Journal Ezine. He is also the co-founder of the RCPL Astronomy Club. He is currently Senior Columnist at BackWash.com and Columnist for bbc.co.uk h2g2 The Post where he writes 'Not Scientific Science' column.