New types of numbers
Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
New types of numbers
I have an idea, that there might be different types of numbers out there. First we (ancient humans) thought that only rational numbers exist, then someone proved them wrong, then we thought that only real numbers exist, but again they were proven wrong (imaginary numbers), so my question is, is there any other form of number out there (no, I don't want infinitesimals or anything like that). The new numbers were only found as solutions to a problem (the first number to be proven irrational was the square root of 2, it arises as the length of the diagonal of the unit square, i was found as the solution to x^{2}+1=0, but is there any other equation (that isn't contradictory) that doesn't have any solutions on the complex plane? Such an equation would have to be a transcendental equation, because it has been shown that any polynomial has solutions in the complex plane.
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
Define the word “number” and you’ll have your answer. /notkidding
There are hypercomplex numbers. Analogous to the complex numbers (which compared to the reals gain algebraic closure but lose order), there are the quaternions (which lose commutativity), octonions (which lose associativity), and the sedenions (which have zerodivisors).
There are hypercomplex numbers. Analogous to the complex numbers (which compared to the reals gain algebraic closure but lose order), there are the quaternions (which lose commutativity), octonions (which lose associativity), and the sedenions (which have zerodivisors).
wee free kings

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
I'm sorry, I should have been more clear, numbers that satisfy an equation that is not satisfied on the complex plane, the hypercomplex numbers are just a useful extension, they only provide more solutions, they don't fill in a gap in the number system (like the complex numbers do). As always, feel free to prove me wrong.
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
 Proginoskes
 Posts: 313
 Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:07 am UTC
 Location: Sitting Down
Re: New types of numbers
In On Numbers and Games, John Conway mentions that there are gaps in the surreal numbers, and that someone should investigate them.

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
Thanks, I'll try to get a copy of that!
Also, is there a complex solution to x^{x}=1/2?
Also, is there a complex solution to x^{x}=1/2?
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
tomtom2357 wrote:Thanks, I'll try to get a copy of that!
Also, is there a complex solution to x^{x}=1/2?
Many
gmalivuk wrote:Yes. And if wishes were horses, wishing wells would fill up very quickly with drowned horses.King Author wrote:If space (rather, distance) is an illusion, it'd be possible for one metame to experience both body's sensory inputs.

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
Okay, obviously x^{x} won't work (Lambert W), we may need a more complicated equation.
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
 Talith
 Proved the Goldbach Conjecture
 Posts: 848
 Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:28 am UTC
 Location: Manchester  UK
Re: New types of numbers
tomtom2357, you seem to be very interested in many areas of mathematics and you want to prove novel results (normally famous unsolved problems which might be a problem). That's great, and it's a good thing that you're so curious, but might I suggest you try concentrating your efforts on one small area first, instead of spreading them across a wide range of topics and making a new post for each one... You're asking good questions, I just worry that you're asking them for the sake of asking, when you can easily Google a lot of these answers and generally do independent research on the topics. My advice would be, become a master of one trade, before trying to become a jack of all trades.
 Xanthir
 My HERO!!!
 Posts: 5281
 Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:49 am UTC
 Location: The Googleplex
 Contact:
Re: New types of numbers
tomtom2357 wrote:I have an idea, that there might be different types of numbers out there. First we (ancient humans) thought that only rational numbers exist, then someone proved them wrong, then we thought that only real numbers exist, but again they were proven wrong (imaginary numbers), so my question is, is there any other form of number out there (no, I don't want infinitesimals or anything like that). The new numbers were only found as solutions to a problem (the first number to be proven irrational was the square root of 2, it arises as the length of the diagonal of the unit square, i was found as the solution to x^{2}+1=0, but is there any other equation (that isn't contradictory) that doesn't have any solutions on the complex plane? Such an equation would have to be a transcendental equation, because it has been shown that any polynomial has solutions in the complex plane.
An equation that doesn't have a solution in the complex plane is "x*0 = 1". However, you can't give it an answer without breaking the complex numbers. Other number systems *can* give it a solution, but they have a different structure than the complex numbers.
(defun fibs (n &optional (a 1) (b 1)) (take n (unfold '+ a b)))
Re: New types of numbers
tomtom2357 wrote:I'm sorry, I should have been more clear, numbers that satisfy an equation that is not satisfied on the complex plane, the hypercomplex numbers are just a useful extension, they only provide more solutions, they don't fill in a gap in the number system (like the complex numbers do). As always, feel free to prove me wrong.
x²+1 + y²+1 + (xy)²+1 = 0
This equation has a solution in quaternions but not in complex numbers.
wee free kings
 jestingrabbit
 Factoids are just Datas that haven't grown up yet
 Posts: 5965
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:50 pm UTC
 Location: Sydney
Re: New types of numbers
Qaanol wrote:tomtom2357 wrote:I'm sorry, I should have been more clear, numbers that satisfy an equation that is not satisfied on the complex plane, the hypercomplex numbers are just a useful extension, they only provide more solutions, they don't fill in a gap in the number system (like the complex numbers do). As always, feel free to prove me wrong.
x²+1 + y²+1 + (xy)²+1 = 0
This equation has a solution in quaternions but not in complex numbers.
Where by "a" you mean at least one. For any x with Re(x)=0 and x^2 + 1 = 0, there's a circle of ys that satisfy this equation. I'd also have a preference for z^2 over just z. z^2 just needs conjugates, which is a lot less hassle than square roots.
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
So now x^{2},y^{2},(xy)^{2}=1? Okay, that is an equation that requires quarternions. Thanks, I would never have thought of using two variables to form the equation!
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=66816&hilit=crazy+numbers
This guy invented crazy numbers such that x<1
This guy invented crazy numbers such that x<1
Re: New types of numbers
Afif_D wrote:This guy invented crazy numbers such that x<1
I'm not sure I can believe in numbers like 0, 1/2, or .252. Too crazy for me.
(ok so I followed the link and it's supposed to x<0)
double epsilon = .0000001;
Re: New types of numbers
Proginoskes wrote:In On Numbers and Games, John Conway mentions that there are gaps in the surreal numbers, and that someone should investigate them.
Gaps? I thought they were the largest possible ordered field. How can you have gaps in that?
All Shadow priest spells that deal Fire damage now appear green.
Big freaky cereal boxes of death.
 jestingrabbit
 Factoids are just Datas that haven't grown up yet
 Posts: 5965
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:50 pm UTC
 Location: Sydney
Re: New types of numbers
WarDaft wrote:Proginoskes wrote:In On Numbers and Games, John Conway mentions that there are gaps in the surreal numbers, and that someone should investigate them.
Gaps? I thought they were the largest possible ordered field. How can you have gaps in that?
They're not a set so they're not a field. Some people write that that they are a Field.
I'm not sure that I understand what you mean when you say that they're the largest possible. You could use an ultraproduct construction to get something that would be larger in that it would contain a subset that was the surreals (though it would, of course, have the same "cardinality") and it would still be ordered (because of the nature of the ultraproduct construction).
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.
Re: New types of numbers
I don't actually know anything about them that it doesn't say here.
All Shadow priest spells that deal Fire damage now appear green.
Big freaky cereal boxes of death.

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
jestingrabbit wrote:WarDaft wrote:Proginoskes wrote:In On Numbers and Games, John Conway mentions that there are gaps in the surreal numbers, and that someone should investigate them.
Gaps? I thought they were the largest possible ordered field. How can you have gaps in that?
They're not a set so they're not a field. Some people write that that they are a Field.
I'm not sure that I understand what you mean when you say that they're the largest possible. You could use an ultraproduct construction to get something that would be larger in that it would contain a subset that was the surreals (though it would, of course, have the same "cardinality") and it would still be ordered (because of the nature of the ultraproduct construction).
So, you couldn't make a number system (that was a set) that had cardinality greater than that of the real numbers?
Also, if the surreal numbers are not a set, then how can it have cardinality?
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
No, there are fields of every infinite cardinality. For example, take an arbitrary subset of the surreals, and close it under the field operations.
Yes, the surreals are not a set so they technically do not have a cardinality. However, all proper classes (classes that are not sets) can be said to be of the same size, since there is a class bijection between any two proper classes, and this size can be said to be larger than the size of any set, since any set can be injected into any proper class.
For example, there is a "gap" between the finite surreals (surreals bounded by two real numbers) and the positive infiinite surreals. Or, for example, between the surreals smaller than any real > 0, and the remaining surreals. Note that while the reals do not seem to have any gaps, enlarging the set can introduce gaps. So you can have a "largest possible field" with gaps in it.
Yes, the surreals are not a set so they technically do not have a cardinality. However, all proper classes (classes that are not sets) can be said to be of the same size, since there is a class bijection between any two proper classes, and this size can be said to be larger than the size of any set, since any set can be injected into any proper class.
WarDaft wrote:Gaps? I thought they were the largest possible ordered field. How can you have gaps in that?
For example, there is a "gap" between the finite surreals (surreals bounded by two real numbers) and the positive infiinite surreals. Or, for example, between the surreals smaller than any real > 0, and the remaining surreals. Note that while the reals do not seem to have any gaps, enlarging the set can introduce gaps. So you can have a "largest possible field" with gaps in it.
Re: New types of numbers
tomtom2357 wrote:So now x^{2},y^{2},(xy)^{2}=1? Okay, that is an equation that requires quarternions.
No, you are wrong.
wee free kings

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
Qaanol wrote:tomtom2357 wrote:I'm sorry, I should have been more clear, numbers that satisfy an equation that is not satisfied on the complex plane, the hypercomplex numbers are just a useful extension, they only provide more solutions, they don't fill in a gap in the number system (like the complex numbers do). As always, feel free to prove me wrong.
x²+1 + y²+1 + (xy)²+1 = 0
This equation has a solution in quaternions but not in complex numbers.
Qaanol wrote:tomtom2357 wrote:So now x^{2},y^{2},(xy)^{2}=1? Okay, that is an equation that requires quarternions.
No, you are wrong.
Wait, what? I am just confirming what you first said.
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
tomtom2357 wrote:Wait, what? I am just confirming what you first said.
No you are not. The equation I gave—as well as the equivalent system of equations you gave—has a solution in the quaternions. It does not require the quaternions to solve. The quaternions are sufficient, but not necessary, to solve it. There are plenty of other number systems besides the quaternions in which that equation has a solution. The complex numbers, however, are not among them.
wee free kings
 Proginoskes
 Posts: 313
 Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:07 am UTC
 Location: Sitting Down
Re: New types of numbers
Deedlit wrote:WarDaft wrote:Gaps? I thought [ the surreals ] were the largest possible ordered field. How can you have gaps in that?
For example, there is a "gap" between the finite surreals (surreals bounded by two real numbers) and the positive infiinite surreals. Or, for example, between the surreals smaller than any real > 0, and the remaining surreals. Note that while the reals do not seem to have any gaps, enlarging the set can introduce gaps. So you can have a "largest possible field" with gaps in it.
What I refered to is on page 37 of ONAG (either edition).
This comment also reminded me of a similar structure in nonstandard number theory (the Peano axioms minus the induction axiom). In this case, numbers come in "blocks": the block B(n) containing n is [imath]\{ n + i : i {\rm~~is~a~"finite~integer"} \}[/imath] (except for the block containing 0, which is just [imath]\{ 0, 1, 2, 3, ... \}[/imath]. Between any two blocks B(a) and B(b), if b is not in B(a), there is another block B(c).

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
Qaanol wrote:tomtom2357 wrote:Wait, what? I am just confirming what you first said.
No you are not. The equation I gave—as well as the equivalent system of equations you gave—has a solution in the quaternions. It does not require the quaternions to solve. The quaternions are sufficient, but not necessary, to solve it. There are plenty of other number systems besides the quaternions in which that equation has a solution. The complex numbers, however, are not among them.
Sorry, that's what I was trying to say, but I'm curious, what other systems allow a solution to the suggested equation?
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
Dason wrote:Afif_D wrote:This guy invented crazy numbers such that x<1
I'm not sure I can believe in numbers like 0, 1/2, or .252. Too crazy for me.
(ok so I followed the link and it's supposed to x<0)
Sorry. That was a typing mistake.. of mine..

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
Any other equations to make new types of numbers? Also, if anyone's interested, I figured out how to circumvent the blackout on wikipedia!!!
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
tomtom2357 wrote:Any other equations to make new types of numbers? Also, if anyone's interested, I figured out how to circumvent the blackout on wikipedia!!!
http://mohamedmansour.com/wikipediasopa.html
On Topic:
Due to Gödel's incompleteness theorem, any sufficiently powerful formal system of numbers (e.g. anything that includes the integers) has equations that cannot be solved. So if you define "number" as the solution to an equation, then you can always have more types of numbers.
Blue, blue, blue

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
Good point!
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
undecim wrote:Due to Gödel's incompleteness theorem, any sufficiently powerful formal system of numbers (e.g. anything that includes the integers) has equations that cannot be solved. So if you define "number" as the solution to an equation, then you can always have more types of numbers.
One needs to be careful here.
For instance, the theory of real closed fields is complete, yet the reals obviously include the integers. Similarly for the theory of algebraically closed fields of given characteristic.
The difference here is that Gödel really does not refer to the integers, but their firstorder theory (as given e.g. by Peano). And there's a few things that can complete the theory of integers in some sense (for instance, if we go beyond recursively enumerable axioms  the theory of "all statements true in the natural numbers" is complete). Things also look different if we go beyond firstorder logic. Now, secondorder logic has other issues (lack of a proof system), but there are a lot of variations such as secondorder arithmetic.
You could also take the modeltheoretic perspective and consider that, via LöwenheimSkolem, any firstorder theory that has a model at all will have models of any cardinality. But which cardinalities  and thus, in a certain sense, which "numbers" or, perhaps better, "objects"  there are is defined by the settheoretic universe in which we operate. In that sense, Gödel cannot really be relevant to the question, as we already need to "define" what numbers we have before we can check what results we get from Gödel.
And for daytoday mathematics, we freely speak about (and quantify over) the power set of natural numbers, so we technically operate in some form of second order logic already.
So, ultimately, Gödel is not really relevant here at all. If you go down that path and really deduce some "new numbers" from there, you need to be clear about the underlying systems and universe you're discussing.

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
How about countable sets that are contained in the real numbers?
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
 MartianInvader
 Posts: 780
 Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:51 pm UTC
Re: New types of numbers
If you're willing to go to statements and not just equations, you could have statements like "x has no square root", which is untrue of any complex number but is true about elements of, say, the field of rational functions of one complex variable. Whether that's a nicer field or not is up to you.
Let's have a fervent argument, mostly over semantics, where we all claim the burden of proof is on the other side!

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
How about this: I define an extension of the algebraic numbers, a quasibraic number is defined as a root of a quasinomial function. A normal polynomial is of the form ax^{n}+bx^{n1}+...+yx+z, where a,b,...,y,z,n are integers. Quasinomials allow the exponents (and the coefficient) to be quasibraic numbers or other quasinomials.
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
Your definition is circular: Imagine the equation xa=0, which clearly has the solution x=a. Now, x is a quasibraic number if a is a quasibraic number. Wait, what?
For the definition of algebraic numbers, only rational numbers are allowed as coefficients (and integers for the exponents) to avoid this problem.
Maybe you get more numbers if you look at solutions for equations
[math]0=\sum\limits_{i=0}^n a_i\, x^{b_i}[/math]
with algebraic a_{i} and b_{i}.
Maybe.
This set is still countable.
For the definition of algebraic numbers, only rational numbers are allowed as coefficients (and integers for the exponents) to avoid this problem.
Maybe you get more numbers if you look at solutions for equations
[math]0=\sum\limits_{i=0}^n a_i\, x^{b_i}[/math]
with algebraic a_{i} and b_{i}.
Maybe.
This set is still countable.
Re: New types of numbers
You don't get any more solutions by allowing algebraic coefficients, as the set of all algebraic numbers is the algebraic closure of Q.
Allowing different exponents is hairy, as for non integers there isn't a unique value, so what does it even mean for something to be a solution? That 0 is among is (often infinite) possible values? Why is such a thing useful in the first place?
Allowing different exponents is hairy, as for non integers there isn't a unique value, so what does it even mean for something to be a solution? That 0 is among is (often infinite) possible values? Why is such a thing useful in the first place?
addams wrote:This forum has some very well educated people typing away in loops with Sourmilk. He is a lucky Sourmilk.

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
mfb wrote:Your definition is circular: Imagine the equation xa=0, which clearly has the solution x=a. Now, x is a quasibraic number if a is a quasibraic number. Wait, what?
For the definition of algebraic numbers, only rational numbers are allowed as coefficients (and integers for the exponents) to avoid this problem.
Maybe you get more numbers if you look at solutions for equations
[math]0=\sum\limits_{i=0}^n a_i\, x^{b_i}[/math]
with algebraic a_{i} and b_{i}.
Maybe.
This set is still countable.
Oops, sorry. How about this: a quasibraic number cannot have itself in the definition, and the integers are quasibraic numbers. That should work. This way things like x^{x}=a can happen.
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
mfb wrote:Maybe you get more numbers if you look at solutions for equations
[math]0=\sum\limits_{i=0}^n a_i\, x^{b_i}[/math]
with algebraic a_{i} and b_{i}.
Maybe.
This set is still countable.
I don't see this, are you able to prove it? Certainly there are only countably many equations, but I don't see how you'll prove a countable number of solutions?
I also assume you mean b_{i} != b_{j} for i != j. Otherwise, the set is trivially the entire base set, so R or C, and thus uncountable.
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelfond–Schneider_theorem]Gelfond–Schneider[/url] proves that this set does extend the algebraic numbers (e.g. sqr(2)^{sqr(2)} is a solution to x^{sqr(2)}  2 = 0, but is itself transcendent per GelfondSchneider); however, I don't see trivial ways to show even that this would be a group with addition or multiplication, let alone a ring or field or whatever.
 Proginoskes
 Posts: 313
 Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:07 am UTC
 Location: Sitting Down
Re: New types of numbers
tomtom2357 wrote:How about this (definition): a quasibraic number cannot have itself in the definition,
I think we're heading for Epimenides's ground here ...

 Posts: 563
 Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:48 am UTC
Re: New types of numbers
Proginoskes wrote:tomtom2357 wrote:How about this (definition): a quasibraic number cannot have itself in the definition,
I think we're heading for Epimenides's ground here ...
Fine then, and no circular definitions of quasibraic numbers allowed. So no definitions like ax1=0 defining b and and bx1=0 defining a.
I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.
Re: New types of numbers
Desiato wrote:mfb wrote:Maybe you get more numbers if you look at solutions for equations
[math]0=\sum\limits_{i=0}^n a_i\, x^{b_i}[/math]
with algebraic a_{i} and b_{i}.
Maybe.
This set is still countable.
I don't see this, are you able to prove it? Certainly there are only countably many equations, but I don't see how you'll prove a countable number of solutions?
Well, I forgot to say "nontrivial sum". Of course, 0=0*x has all real numbers as solution.
To avoid issues with complex numbers, require x>0. Let x be a "quasibraic number" if x is one, so this does not harm. In that case, the highest b_{i} defines the behavior for x>infinity, so there is a solution with the largest x (if it has any). Although a proof might be tricky, I see no way to get an uncountable number of solutions with a nonconstant function of the type given above. Similar to polynomials, I would expect at most n (maybe 1 more or less, but even n more would not harm) solutions.
>> I also assume you mean b_{i} != b_{j} for i != j. Otherwise, the set is trivially the entire base set, so R or C, and thus uncountable.
This is not necessary, as [imath]a_i x^{b_i} + a_j x^{b_i} = (a_i+a_j) x^{b_i}[/imath]. Again, the trivial sum has to be excluded.
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests