Favorite math jokes

For the discussion of math. Duh.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby jestingrabbit » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:11 am UTC

Ended wrote:Wouldn't the longest diagonal be ||(1,1,...,1) - (0,0,...,0)|| = 5?


Yes, yes it would. Thinking hypercube with height 3. Is feeling the dumb right now.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby fransisco4 » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:52 am UTC

This comic: http://icantdrawfeet.com/2008/04/14/mat ... s-ver-212/

All the updates: http://icantdrawfeet.com/extras/mathematics-ver-212/

Altough probably everyone knows about this because he asked for suggestions in this forum.

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Re:

Postby MirrorWing » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:16 am UTC

ptveite wrote:what's the integral of 1/CABIN dCABIN?


Houseboat! (logCabin + C)


Several months late and with nothing more to contribute, given that I don't know any mathematics jokes off-hand (Physics jokes, yes, but math jokes, no), but I just have to say that I actually fell off my couch from laughing at this. It is now my favorite joke ever.

...of course, I had to spend the next 5 minutes explaining it to my roommate, who has never taken a calculus class and never plans to, but oh, it was SO worth it.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby spipper » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:53 am UTC

A topologist turns to a physist and says "what kind of circle has 4 corners?"
The physist then proudly retorts "there can be no circle for a circle has no corners!"
The topologist then calmly replies "ye of little faith, a circle can have corners for it is then a square!"

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby spipper » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:55 am UTC

i was just thinking, if you were chasing someone on a mobious loop, wouldn't it be easier to stop put out your arm and clothesline them?

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby fransisco4 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:27 am UTC

Can someone explain me the meaning of topologist and clothesline?Or if you speak spanish translate?

And use the edit button Spipper. :)

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby TheCoelacanth » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:49 am UTC

A topologist is someone who studies topology; the joke is basically that circles and squares have the same properties as far as a topologist is concerned but a physicist considers them very different.

Clothesline refers to the act of sticking out your arm to the side of your body and using it to knock someone down.

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Re: Re:

Postby NathanielJ » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:54 am UTC

MirrorWing wrote:
ptveite wrote:what's the integral of 1/CABIN dCABIN?


Houseboat! (logCabin + C)


Several months late and with nothing more to contribute, given that I don't know any mathematics jokes off-hand (Physics jokes, yes, but math jokes, no), but I just have to say that I actually fell off my couch from laughing at this. It is now my favorite joke ever.

...of course, I had to spend the next 5 minutes explaining it to my roommate, who has never taken a calculus class and never plans to, but oh, it was SO worth it.

You, sir or madam, are full of epic win.


If you like that one, you can easily make similar jokes with punch lines of "ice cube" and "root beer" or some combination thereof.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby antonfire » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:08 am UTC

Yeah, but it's hard to add another level of obfuscation by adding the sea. Unless you say "iceberg = ice cube + sea" or something like that.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Ended » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:03 am UTC

The other one I've heard is:

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A: Differentiate a log fire.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Poochy » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:15 am UTC

My math teacher was arrested at the local airport after security found a compass, protractor, and a graphing calculator in his carry-on luggage. He was charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.

Also, I scribbled this in the corner of my response to a question on a ridiculously easy standardized math test I had to take in high school:
Q: What do you get when you add two apples to three apples?
A: An American high school math problem, apparently.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:22 am UTC

Poochy wrote:My math teacher was arrested at the local airport after security found a compass, protractor, and a graphing calculator in his carry-on luggage. He was charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.

The long version of this was already posted here.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby mgcclx » Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:16 pm UTC

Hit3k wrote:Study = Fail.

Proof:

Study = No Fail
No Study = Fail
(No + 1)Study = (No + 1)Fail
(No + 1)/(No+1)Study = (No + 1)/(No + 1)Fail
∴ Study = Fail
Q.E.D

Not really funny but.. you know..

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Xanthir » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:01 pm UTC

kira wrote:
Xanthir wrote:It's less of a joke and more of a "they're so stupid" story. The post office only accepts parcels with a length of 4ft or less. However, you can easily ship something larger than 4ft (up to about 5ft 8in) by using the diagonals, thus proving their restriction to be ridiculous.


What about the restriction is ridiculous? They are not placing a limit on the size of the material that you can ship, only the size of the boxes. There has to be a limit on the size of the box due to the fact that people and machines need to be able to process these things. There must be an upper bound.

I don't think it's ridiculous at all. I was merely explaining the 'joke'.

However, you still don't seem to grasp it. The point of the joke isn't that it's silly to have length restrictions at all, but simply that they specify a 4ft length restriction when you can in fact ship things that are 5ft long.

NathanielJ wrote:Ditto on that sentiment... would it be preferable that they have an absolute length in any direction requirement, forcing people to ship in circular boxes?

It would force them to do no such thing. If they simply said "5ft max", then the aforementioned 4ftx3ft box would ship just fine. (Not quite, actually, as the box is 3d and thus contains a diagonal longer than 5ft, but you can scale it down somewhat to fit within the restriction.)

The point of the joke is that the folk definition of 'length' (properly, maximum diagonal in this case) can easily be different from the exact definition that a mathematician might use.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby fransisco4 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:26 pm UTC

TheCoelacanth wrote:Clothesline refers to the act of sticking out your arm to the side of your body and using it to knock someone down.


Thank you. It's a really specific word, (negative form of "is") it?

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby MirrorWing » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:35 pm UTC

The negative form of "is" is "isn't", a contraction of "is" and "not".

And yes, it's a very specific, slang word.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby idobox » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:29 pm UTC

For non French speakers:
Quel est un cercle? => what is a circle
C'est Poincarré => horrible pun, poincarré sounds like French for "not square"
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby StickFight » Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:42 am UTC

so... for the hypercube, could you fit something infinitely long in a container with infinitely small sides as long as it is in an infinitely high dimension...

ok, something easier:
a 50 foot rod could fit in a container no longer than 1 foot as long as it is in the xth dimension and x is a high enough number, right? Wow, now I want a hypercube.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby mgcclx » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:27 am UTC

StickFight wrote:so... for the hypercube, could you fit something infinitely long in a container with infinitely small sides as long as it is in an infinitely high dimension...

ok, something easier:
a 50 foot rod could fit in a container no longer than 1 foot as long as it is in the xth dimension and x is a high enough number, right? Wow, now I want a hypercube.


How do you fit a hypercube inside our 3D space? Since our world is strictly 3D...
unless part of the hypercube that intersect with our 3D space.
but then how can you manipulate an 3D object inside an hyperspace?
ohh.. flatland never told me how...

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby idobox » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:59 am UTC

Clearly, you need the help of Cthulu or an other abomination to handle hypercubes, extra-dimensional objects and non euclidean stuff.
So, the easiest way to put a 50ft long rod in a 4ft box requires the use of a magical circle, a tome of the necronomicon, a few virgins to sacrifice, black candles, a shoggoth or two and an old temple of forgotten chtonian deities.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Frimble » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:55 pm UTC

idobox wrote:For non French speakers:
Quel est un cercle? => what is a circle
C'est Poincarré => horrible pun, poincarré sounds like French for "not square"

For french speakers/readers, the grammatically correct version:
Qu'est ce que c'est un circle? (What is a circle?)
Ce n'est point carré / Ce n'est Poincarré (It is certainly not a square. / It nis Poincarré)
"Absolute precision buys the freedom to dream meaningfully." - Donal O' Shea: The Poincaré Conjecture.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Xanthir » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:03 pm UTC

StickFight wrote:so... for the hypercube, could you fit something infinitely long in a container with infinitely small sides as long as it is in an infinitely high dimension...

ok, something easier:
a 50 foot rod could fit in a container no longer than 1 foot as long as it is in the xth dimension and x is a high enough number, right? Wow, now I want a hypercube.

Come on, the math here is easy.

Given a square with 1ft sides, the diagonal is [imath]\sqrt{1^2 + 1^2}[/imath], or [imath]\sqrt{2}[/imath]. A cube's diagonal is [imath]\sqrt{1^2 + \sqrt{2}^2}[/imath], or [imath]\sqrt{3}[/imath]. A 4cube's diagonal would be [imath]\sqrt{1^2 + \sqrt{3}^2}[/imath], or [imath]\sqrt{4}[/imath] (ie, 2). See a pattern yet? Given an n-dimensional cube with sides of 1unit, the diagonal is [imath]\sqrt{n}[/imath] units long.

So, to fit a 50ft rod into a hypercube with 1ft sides, you need at least [imath]50^2[/imath] dimensions to the cube.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby kira » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:19 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:It's less of a joke and more of a "they're so stupid" story. The post office only accepts parcels with a length of 4ft or less. However, you can easily ship something larger than 4ft (up to about 5ft 8in) by using the diagonals, thus proving their restriction to be ridiculous.

Xanthir wrote:However, you still don't seem to grasp it. The point of the joke isn't that it's silly to have length restrictions at all, but simply that they specify a 4ft length restriction when you can in fact ship things that are 5ft long.


There is absolutely nothing that I'm not grasping here. Based on the wording in the original "joke", only the length of the parcel is specified. It does not state anything at all about the length of the object.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Xanthir » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:27 pm UTC

Which is the point, yes. I'm glad we're on the same page here.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby AllSaintsDay » Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:07 am UTC

Rough transcript of an exchange I had in discussing a lecture...

Me:"And that's true by the CMT. Which means the Contraction Mapping Theorem, not Country Music Television."
Her:"Oh, I'm glad you told me, or I would have thought that math involved Carrie Underwood destroying her cheating boyfriend's car."
Me:"Well, yeah, it's an application of the Banach-Tarski paradox."
Her:"So he comes out of the bar and there are now two cars?"
Silence, as we look at each other and think "Wow, did we really just have that exchange?"

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby mgcclx » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:53 pm UTC

Original:
Without geometry, life is pointless

from http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Geometry.html

My extensions:
Without geometry, you can't have a circle of friends.
Without geometry, life can't be fair and square.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby mudge » Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:18 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:
Pathway wrote:
A man went to the post office to post a fishing rod which was five feet long and all in one piece. He was upset to find that the maximum parcel length the post office would accept was four feet.
He solved the problem by placing the fishing rod diagonally in a rectangular box of length four feet and width three feet.


I don't get it. Is the joke that he could have minimized the parcel's length more efficiently by making the box taller and using the diagonal between opposite corners?

It's less of a joke and more of a "they're so stupid" story. The post office only accepts parcels with a length of 4ft or less. However, you can easily ship something larger than 4ft (up to about 5ft 8in) by using the diagonals, thus proving their restriction to be ridiculous.


I'm going to tell my own "they're so stupid" story.

There once was a poster on a forum who proudly displayed his (or her) ignorance by assuming that the postal service has a vendetta against items greater than 4 ft in length being shipped instead of assuming that maybe packages with a dimension greater than 4 ft are unwieldy and it has nothing to do with the size of objects being shipped.

The End.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby 3.14159265... » Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:40 pm UTC

Someone asked "What is your favorite childhood memory?"

Pi: I have many. Absolutes are rarely useful, except in math where they are the norm.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Buttons » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:23 pm UTC

Did you hear about the shallow America's Next Top Model fan who refused to change television channels?

She was diagnosed with a two-dimensional CW complex.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Yuffie » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:39 am UTC

NathanielJ wrote:
kira wrote:
Xanthir wrote:It's less of a joke and more of a "they're so stupid" story. The post office only accepts parcels with a length of 4ft or less. However, you can easily ship something larger than 4ft (up to about 5ft 8in) by using the diagonals, thus proving their restriction to be ridiculous.


What about the restriction is ridiculous? They are not placing a limit on the size of the material that you can ship, only the size of the boxes. There has to be a limit on the size of the box due to the fact that people and machines need to be able to process these things. There must be an upper bound.


Ditto on that sentiment... would it be preferable that they have an absolute length in any direction requirement, forcing people to ship in circular boxes?



You mean like a sphere?
Or a hamster ball.
Or a cat.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby ConMan » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:15 am UTC

Yuffie wrote:
NathanielJ wrote:Ditto on that sentiment... would it be preferable that they have an absolute length in any direction requirement, forcing people to ship in circular boxes?



You mean like a sphere?
Or a hamster ball.
Or a cat.


Or possibly a cow.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby MirrorWing » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:14 am UTC

Just heard this one on Ace of Cakes:

Why didn't the trigonometry problem get the apartment it wanted? Because tangent wouldn't cosine!
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:23 am UTC

Yo mama's so fat, I tried to graph her as an ellipse, but both foci were at infinity.

(I've tried rephrasing this to accommodate +/- infinity. It doesn't sound as good. This post is made because I did this one spontaneously in calc class the other day, not because the joke is necessarily that good.)
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby MirrorWing » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:32 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Yo mama's so fat, I tried to graph her as an ellipse, but both foci were at infinity.


Bahhahahaha, that's awesome. You should try telling that on that show that (I think) used to be on MTV, the "Yo Mama" competition.

Disclaimer: I did not ever choose to watch that travesty of American television. It was always on in my high school's Senior Lounge during my free periods.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby ++$_ » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:58 am UTC

*bump*

A mathematician meets a beautiful woman from the engineering department. One thing leads to another, and pretty soon they're engaged to be married. Because the engineer is really busy doing useful and lucrative work, she grudgingly agrees to let the mathematician plan most of the wedding, including the ceremony itself.

Three days before the wedding, he starts to explain how things work. "Twenty-four hours before the wedding," he begins, "you'll be staying at the Hyatt in room 212. Now, you'll have a can of bug spray, six copper disks, a crossbow, and a fishing pole. Open the desk drawer and you'll find some fishhooks next to the Bible. Tie one of the hooks to the end of the fishing line, and lower it out of the window. At exactly 7:31 P.M., a man passing underneath with a dark red tie will attach a sack with a Bunsen burner and some copper sulfate to the end. You pull that up. Then take the Bunsen burner..."

"Wait," says the engineer, perplexed. "Why do I have to do all this? Why can't we just have a normal wedding?"

"Well," says the mathematician, "you're an engineer; surely you've heard of complex conjugation?"

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

A mathematician is a bit short of cash, so he decides to pawn a gold ring that he inherited from his grandfather, who was also a mathematician. When he goes to the pawnshop, though, the pawnbroker takes a liking to the ring.

"Listen," he says, "Normally I couldn't give you more than three hundred for this, or I'd be taking too much risk. But I think this is a really beautiful ring and I want to give it to my billionaire girlfriend as an engagement ring, so I'll make you an offer. If you're willing to sell me the ring, I'll pay you 100,000 dollars outright."

The mathematician happily agrees, hands over the ring, takes the 100,000, and pays off all his debts.

A week later, the he gets an irate phone call from the pawnbroker. "You slimeball! I'll kill you!" says the voice on the other end.

"Pardon?" says the mathematician, a bit confused.

"You know that ring you sold me?" said the pawnbroker. "Well, I gave it to my girlfriend and she put it on. And guess what happened?"

"Oh, no," said the mathematician. "It sliced the tip of her finger off, didn't it?"

"God dammit, you KNEW it would do that?" yelled the pawnbroker, even louder.

"Oh, dear," the mathematician said. "I guess I forgot to mention that it was a division ring."

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby z4lis » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:24 pm UTC

Not sure if this one is already in here...

All natural numbers are interesting.

Proof: 1 is interesting. Now, suppose there exists some number that is non-interesting. The set of non-interesting natural numbers is then non-empty so by the well-ordering principle, there must exist a first non-interesting natural number, which makes it interesting. Contradiction.
What they (mathematicians) define as interesting depends on their particular field of study; mathematical anaylsts find pain and extreme confusion interesting, whereas geometers are interested in beauty.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby NathanielJ » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:04 pm UTC

What did Euler find in the toilet?

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby qinwamascot » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:05 am UTC

z4lis wrote:Not sure if this one is already in here...

All natural numbers are interesting.

Proof: 1 is interesting. Now, suppose there exists some number that is non-interesting. The set of non-interesting natural numbers is then non-empty so by the well-ordering principle, there must exist a first non-interesting natural number, which makes it interesting. Contradiction.


I've seen this before. But it's not interesting. It might have been the first time I saw it. :mrgreen:

I'll spare the physicist, engineer & mathematician jokes bc everyone knows enough that they aren't funny anymore.

The difference between a mathematicians and anyone else:

I have some number of apples and some larger number of oranges in my pocket. I tell Joe the arithmetic mean of the numbers of apples and oranges I have in my pocket and John the quadratic mean of the number of apples and the number of oranges in my pocket. I offer to sell them all the apples and all the oranges for a fixed price

Case 1: Joe and John are not mathematicians
Spoiler:
John: he told me this
Joe: he told me this
Joe and John: I don't want to solve this. Let's buy fruit from some normal guy (what's a quadratic mean anyways?)


Case 2: Joe is a mathematician, John is not:
Spoiler:
John: He told me this
Joe: based on my number and yours, he has x apples and y oranges
John: Wow! How'd you do that?
Joe: Nevermind; they're really expensive anyway.


Case 3: John is a mathematician, Joe is not:
Spoiler:
John: I don't know how many apples or oranges he has
Joe: He told me this
John: Based on my number and yours, he has x apples and y oranges
Joe: Wow! How'd you do that?
John: Nevermind; they're really expensive anyway.


Case 4: Joe and John are both mathematicians:
Spoiler:
John: I don't know how many apples or oranges he has
Joe: I don't know how many apples or oranges he has
John: I don't know how many apples or oranges he has
Joe: I don't know how many apples or oranges he has
John: I don't know how many apples or oranges he has
Joe: I don't know how many apples or oranges he has
John: I know how many apples he has and how many oranges he has
Joe: Wow, those are really overpriced apples and oranges!


Bonus points to anyone who can tell me how many apples I have and how many oranges I have.
Quiznos>Subway

User avatar
Tez
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:59 pm UTC
Location: Sydney

Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Tez » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:07 am UTC

Mathematics can cause much frustration
Involving many a calculation
While physics they say
Is like a good lay
Where as maths well it's just masturbation

User avatar
qinwamascot
Posts: 688
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:50 am UTC
Location: Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby qinwamascot » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:41 am UTC

Tez wrote:Mathematics can cause much frustration
Involving many a calculation
While physics they say
Is like a good lay
Where as maths well it's just masturbation


nice, but as a double physics/maths major, I've found that I do many more calculations in physics. In maths, to multiply a number n by 2, I just write 2n. In physics I actually have to multiply the two together. Perhaps this could make for another joke :mrgreen:
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