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# Why are negative numbers classified as "real" when if you think about it they only exist in theory? You can never physically have below 0 of something. amirite?

The voters have decided that Pedo_Cat is right! Vote on the post to say if you agree or disagree.

There is such a thing as 'debt' dear. Get a student loan and you too may learn the magnificent power of negative numbers.

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@asdijojioiojioxj Exactley. And ever heard of negative temperatures op? Negative numbers do exist.

@928285 (SlimShady): you guys obviously didn't read my posts carefully enough. Negative temperatures, such as Celsius and Fahrenheit aren't actually negative, simply a scale for something not negative. If you want to go by the Kelvin scale, there is no negative temperature because 0 is no molecular movement, the coldest possible temperature. As for the debt, while you may owe someone money, you don't actually have negative money. If you were to run away to Saskatchewan and change your identity would your new wallet have negative dollar bills in it? I think not! Negative numbers have a purpose but are purely symbolic and used in math, but not a physical presence. Follow?

Yeah You Are +41
No Way +21

Yeah You Are +11

He also said physically, temperature and debt aren't physical things

@Sam1721 He also said physically, temperature and debt aren't physical things

I'm pretty sure temperature is physical. It's not an object, though.

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@I'm pretty sure temperature is physical. It's not an object, though.

She meant tangible, and temperature isn't tangible. You can't feel temp and debt, but you can feel hot/cold and money.

Yeah You Are 0

An electron has a charge of -1.6*10-19 C. Bam. End of thread.

No Way +4

force: 1 is pushing, 0 is nothing, -1 is pulling.
direction: 1 is right, 0 is straight, -1 is left.
pressure: 1 is high, 0 is equal, -1 is low.

@imthatoneguy force: 1 is pushing, 0 is nothing, -1 is pulling. direction: 1 is right, 0 is straight, -1 is left. pressure: 1 is...

but pulling isn't negative force, it is force in the opposite direction being compared too.

Yeah You Are +7
@Pedo_Cat but pulling isn't negative force, it is force in the opposite direction being compared too.

making it negative. likewise, if pulling were the positive force, pushing would be the negative.

@imthatoneguy making it negative. likewise, if pulling were the positive force, pushing would be the negative.

you think too straight forward. Is there a negative force involved? No, the force is simply being exerted in the opposite direction which does not make it negative

Yeah You Are +8
@Pedo_Cat you think too straight forward. Is there a negative force involved? No, the force is simply being exerted in the...

actually, it does, given that, say, a push results as a pull. if you still dont get it: an object applying negative force on another object is the same as it applying a force opposite.

@imthatoneguy actually, it does, given that, say, a push results as a pull. if you still dont get it: an object applying negative...

but the force isn't negative, it's opposite. what's Newtons law for that? Equal and opposite force or something...

Yeah You Are +9
@Pedo_Cat but the force isn't negative, it's opposite. what's Newtons law for that? Equal and opposite force or something...

but if a force is opposite of another force, then it is negative to that force (or positive, then the other would be negative. it all depends on what is established.) thats what im tryin to say. and that law is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. but it doesnt directly have to do with much on the subject.

@imthatoneguy but if a force is opposite of another force, then it is negative to that force (or positive, then the other would...

no, you are thinking that the opposite of a positive has to be a negative, which may be true. But numerically it isn't. Think of force as absolute values, if somethings being pushed, the other direction isn't going negative, it's just going the same distance in the other direction with a different type of force, not negative feet or at a speed of negative MPH or force of negative joules or whatever. see what i mean?

Yeah You Are +7
@Pedo_Cat no, you are thinking that the opposite of a positive has to be a negative, which may be true. But numerically it...

Force can be negative because it not only depends on the amount of exertion AND THE DIRECTION OF EXERTION. If you pull a box across the floor, it's you pulling the box, not something magically pushing on the other side.

@Neighbor Force can be negative because it not only depends on the amount of exertion AND THE DIRECTION OF EXERTION. If you...

No, the vector can be negative. That magnitude of the force can be applied in multiple directions and is referred to as negative depending on your frame of reference, but you can't actually exert a "negative force" as in a "negative magnitude". Obviously, yes a force is a vector, but the problem in the argument is that Pedo Cat means the magnitude, not the vector. See now?

Yeah You Are 0
@Wynaut No, the vector can be negative. That magnitude of the force can be applied in multiple directions and is referred...

Would not the vector be a more complete way of looking at the situation on question if it is a supposed "real" scenario (and as stated before, the "real" in question here is different than real numbers in mathematics)?

@Neighbor Would not the vector be a more complete way of looking at the situation on question if it is a supposed "real"...

Again, that's the problem. OP is talking outside of any frame of reference and in a generality, so you can't try to use vectors - they require that frame. You have to look at it from a pre-physics mindset in order to grasp the point of the post. And the multiple definitions of "real" don't make it easier either. In math, negative numbers are "real" (as stated in the post) but the explanation of why they shouldn't be refers to their physical-ness in the corporeal world. Thats where the confusion arises.

Yeah You Are 0
@imthatoneguy but if a force is opposite of another force, then it is negative to that force (or positive, then the other would...

Think of it this way. You can drive a car at 60 mph going north, or you can drive it at 60 mph going south, but that doesn't mean that you are going at -60 mph.

@fatima Your post score is negative

It was when I made that comment :x

Real in maths =/= your definition of real

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Just because you can't physically HAVE a negative amount of something doesn't mean it isn't real.

No Way +1

I tried to find a case where it was false, and failed. Unless you say a person is -0.75 years old when they are conceived...

Yeah You Are +1

The numbers, units, and measurements we've assigned to the phenomena that fit them best are always arbitrary and subjective. It seems as though you're getting way too obvious.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_number
First line.
Also, using your logic, positive numbers are as moot as negative.

No Way 0

real numbers are called real because we are capable of visualizing them where as complex numbers don't measure any real quantity.

No Way 0

I think you should think about what we consider unreal numbers. Like the square root of a negative number is absolutely impossible and therefore unreal. Basically anything that isn't impossible is real, weather it is rational or not.

No Way 0
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Yeah You Are +7

I am commenting hoping I can stop the ensuing pointless argument.

@SingingWolf I am commenting hoping I can stop the ensuing pointless argument.

I think you may be lost. Don't worry, though, ol' pander is here to guide you in the right direction.

http://mylifeisaverage.com/