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I was just watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-I6XTVZXww
In it, a professor working at the Nottingham University( Dr. Ed Copeland I think) shows how 1+2+3+4+5....+ ∞ = -1/12 Is this a joke? Or does it contain somewhere within it a flaw?
Now, I know that this channel and the people running it are by profession researchers so it does make me think whether this is true.
but at the same time, you are adding positive numbers on one hand and getting a negative sum?
The video also shows how 1-1+1-1+1-1.... =1/2 and that is counter intuitive too, how can you get a fraction when you are only adding together integers? I do however, painfully accept this as the truth because this is an infinite G.P. with r= -1. and I can get the answer using the formula.
what I am asking is:
Is this actually true or altogether false, or a limitation to the current system of mathematics and accepted as true only because otherwise, mathematics would be proven wrong?
Is there any intuitive explanation to this (both the series that are mentioned), or can I only see it using mathematics?
The video mentions that their are actual uses in physics for this. What are they?
I have read other answers and the opinions in them are conflicting, some say it is false and some say that it is true. Also, other questions don't seem to answer all hree of the questions posed.