Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Actual Discussion With My Son

I, the owner of a degree in Mathematics and a degree in Computer Science from Seattle University, had the following discussion with my 7 year old son, who recently graduated from first grade.

Andrew: Dad, did you know the square root of 0 is 0?

Dad: That is correct. 0 is kind of a unique number, 0 times 0 is 0.

Andrew: Dad, the square root of 1 is 1 and 1 times 1 is also 1. So 0 is not that unique.

Dad: I need to call Seattle University and ask for a refund.


Pedicularis said...

Actually, you are right, zero is unique. The square root of 1 is both +1 and -1.

When he is ready, ask him what the square root of negative one is.

AndrewsDad said...

Ah yes, the imaginary one, 1i. Andrew and I have already had that conversation.