You never know what you’ll run into on campus…Mind Blowing Stuff!

Yesterday, at recess, a 3rd grader stopped me and said, “Hey Rick! You gotta hear this. It will blow your mind.” Of course, I was intrigued so I asked what it was.

Student – “What is the decimal conversion for 1/3?

Rick – “.3 repeating

Student – “Yes. And what is the decimal conversion for 2/3?

Rick – “.6 repeating.

Student – “Yes again. But hold on. Get ready to blow your mind! What is the decimal conversion for 3/3?

Rick – “1

Student – “How do you know that?

Rick – “Because one rule in algebra is that any number divided by itself is one…

Student – “Okay…we can talk about that later, but your logic doesn’t stand because 1/3 = .3 repeating, 2/3 = .6repeating, 3/3 should equal .9 repeating…

Rick – “Whoa! You’re right! What does this mean?? We’ve been tricked!

Student – “I know! Right?!?!?

Rick – “Well I certainly wouldn’t want to use 1/3 or 2/3 in my calculations for building a space ship or submarine because then they might leak and we’d run out of air.

Student – “Not if you had an unlimited air supply.

Rick – “Hmm..good point, I’m not sure an unlimited air supply has been invented yet.

Student – “Still wouldn’t be a problem.

Rick – “Why not?

Student – “Because the atoms of air would be larger than the space the gap creates.

Rick – “How do you know that?

Student – “Because atoms have a molecular size that would be greater than the infinitesimally small gap that might exist if you used 1/3 in your measurements

Rick – “Hmm…Have you ever heard of Zeno’s paradox?

Student – “Sure!

Yard duty – “Hi Rick, You’re wanted in the office.

Rick – “Looks like we’ll have to take this up later.

Student – “Bye! (Runs off to play on the playground)

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