Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Good time of day!

I am looking for some exotic number systems, such as Conway's surreal numbers. It was easy to find Exotic number systems article, but it was little bit too formal. Also, I think there may be some other similar number systems or at least more comprehensive explanation of those ones.

p.s.: I am mostly biologist; my current goal is to look for number systems and their representations, possibly usable by hypothetical living beings. Any related materials are appreciated.

Thank you!

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by Grigory M, Asaf Karagila, Pete L. Clark, Zev Chonoles Jan 29 '12 at 7:15

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

@Mix0123: this site is for precise mathematical questions, ideally with crisp answers like "Yes", "False" or "67". Please tell me something about Topic X is not a sufficiently focused question for this site. It would help for instance if you used surreal numbers as an example for what you are looking for from other exotic number systems. What do you already know about surreal numbers, what (if anything) do you want to know, what is the connection with surreal numbers and living beings (I guess you know they are actually used by some living beings...)? –  Pete L. Clark Jul 11 '11 at 17:28
I guess $p$-adic numbers count as an exotic number system. Of course, I am completely ignorant of any connections to biology. –  Justin Campbell Jul 11 '11 at 18:52

1 Answer 1

Some people would consider the integers modulo 17 to be an exotic number system. Cicadas are said to make use of it.

share|improve this answer
I'd love to upvote this - unfortunately I don't know if it's sarcasm or not! –  The Chaz 2.0 Jul 12 '11 at 1:38
@Emre: Thanks!. –  The Chaz 2.0 Jul 12 '11 at 2:44
Thank you! Although cicadas don't use it intelligently (as human can): it is just demonstration of evolution's great blind power, as it helped to survive prime-number-loving cicadas. –  Mixo123 Jul 13 '11 at 17:48

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.