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RE: irrationals
Posted:
Oct 29, 1997 8:58 PM


Picky Physicist says:
Unless you insist that physics problems or engineering problems are not "real life", I like to say that irrationals are very often used in "real life" and are playing very important role in providing meaningful scientific result.
ChiTien
 From: Harry Sedinger[SMTP:hsed@sbu.edu] Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 1997 4:33 AM To: mathteach@forum.swarthmore.edu; Susan Addington Subject: Re: irrationals
Susan Addington wrote (in part):
"There is also the practical point of view that in real life you never use irrationals, just rational approximations.After all, within any small distance from any irrational there are infinitely many rationals that could be used to approximate it. This is true no matter how small "small" is. There is no measuring device that could detect whether a number is rational or irrational."
and
"I agree: irrationals are very mysterious!"
I also agree. This morning, however, I walked four miles from home to work in 56 minutes. The interesting thing is that I was an irrational distance from home 56 minutes and a rational distance from home 0 minutes.
Harry



