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From: Russell Standish <R.Standish.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 10:31:05 +1000 (EST)

I don't know about the crackpot part. There is a delightful story of

Ramanujan sending through a scrappy old notebook to the mathematician

GH Hardy. It was a proof for a proposition that Hardy had worked out

before, but obtained by means completely unconventional. It so

impressed him that he brought Ramanujan out to England.

He seem to be most famous for the Ramanujan identities, which are used

in Rodney Baxter's work of exactly solvable models of equilibrium

statistical mechanics.

Cheers

*>
*

*> Higgo James wrote:
*

*> >
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*> > Tell us more about Ramanujan; he seems to agree.
*

*> >
*

*>
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*> I don't know much. I've come across his name a few times. The
*

*> first was, I think, a small book called "Fermat's Last Theorem".
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*> Also, if memory serves, he was mentioned in the movie "Good Will
*

*> Hunting" - the older professor compared Matt Damon's character
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*> to Ramanujan. I just found this web page, which has some info:
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*> http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Ramanujan.html.
*

*> Dates: 1887 - 1920. From what I remember, he was so far ahead
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*> of his time that many mathemeticians in England thought he was
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*> a crackpot. So naturally I was intrigued by this quote I found.
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*> I was hoping some others might know more, especially if he
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*> actually tried to formalize this theory of zero and infinity in
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*> any way.
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*>
*

*>
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*>
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*> > >
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*> > >
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*> > > Chris' Adventures at the Library:
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*> > >
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*> > >
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*> > > While skimming another book, I came across this quote:
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*> > >
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*> > > Ramanujan [a brilliant young Indian mathematician in the
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*> > > early part of this century] himself constructed a theory
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*> > > of reality using zero and infinity. (Most of Ramanujan's
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*> > > contemporaries in England could not understand what he
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*> > > was trying to say when he presented this arcane, mystical
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*> > > concept - can you?) To Ramanujan, zero represented
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*> > > "absolute reality". Infinity was the myriad
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*> > > manifestations of that reality. What happens if you
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*> > > multiply them together:
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*> > > 0 X infinity
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*> > > To Ramanujan, the product (0 X infinity) was not a single
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*> > > number, but all numbers, each of which corresponds to an
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*> > > "act of creation". What could Ramanujan have meant by
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*> > > this?
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*> > >
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*> > >
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*> > >
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*> > >
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*> > > --
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*> > > Chris Maloney
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*> > > http://www.chrismaloney.com
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*> > >
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*> > > "Knowledge is good"
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*> > > -- Emil Faber
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*> > >
*

*>
*

*> --
*

*> Chris Maloney
*

*> http://www.chrismaloney.com
*

*>
*

*> "Knowledge is good"
*

*> -- Emil Faber
*

*>
*

*>
*

*>
*

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Russell Standish Director

High Performance Computing Support Unit,

University of NSW Phone 9385 6967

Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 7123

Australia R.Standish.domain.name.hidden

Room 2075, Red Centre http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Received on Sun Jul 18 1999 - 17:29:49 PDT

Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 10:31:05 +1000 (EST)

I don't know about the crackpot part. There is a delightful story of

Ramanujan sending through a scrappy old notebook to the mathematician

GH Hardy. It was a proof for a proposition that Hardy had worked out

before, but obtained by means completely unconventional. It so

impressed him that he brought Ramanujan out to England.

He seem to be most famous for the Ramanujan identities, which are used

in Rodney Baxter's work of exactly solvable models of equilibrium

statistical mechanics.

Cheers

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Russell Standish Director

High Performance Computing Support Unit,

University of NSW Phone 9385 6967

Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 7123

Australia R.Standish.domain.name.hidden

Room 2075, Red Centre http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Received on Sun Jul 18 1999 - 17:29:49 PDT

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