Tuesday, 19 August 2008

"+" Its Many Interpretations

Maths consists of many symbols. The four basic maathematical operators are the "+", "-", "/" and "x".

We use them easily in many maths expressions. In normal usage, they are maths operator. But there are some instances where their meaning deviates and is important that the maths learners are aware of.

This deviation to the normal meaning happens to allow maatching to the application.

Let's take a simple example of the "+" operation.

Case 1:

H + H + O = H2O

This is the addition of chemical elements with a different results from normal maaths.

The interpretation differs to suit the chemical equation. It is valid. But not for true maaths!

Case 2:

A + A = A

Why is it not A + A = 2A?

This is an instance of the Boolean Algebra. In boolean operation, there is no "2", being in base 2.

In boolean or digital operation, the "A" can mean a "High" logic or "1".

Therefore, a "High" added to "High" will still give a "High" logic (in the electrical sense).

Thus A + A = A ==> Still a valid add (+) operation in this digital sense.

Case 3:


In this case, the operation is actually an abbreviation of a programming language.

What it really does is to replace the result of a mathematical operation of a + 1 back to itself.

A location called "a" is provided (in hardware) and the results of the operation "a + 1" is placed back to the "a" location. This is again a valid "+" process with a different meaning to the normal maths operation.

The 3 cases highlighted serves to let maths learners know that the symbol "+", though looks simple, is also subjected to many interpretations. Thus everyone needs to be aware of its matching to the specific applications.


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