## UCT MAM1000 lecture notes part x – summary

When you were a child you first learnt how to count. You learnt the relationship between a number and the quantity of objects around you. You quickly learnt to manipulate these numbers, you could add them, and you could multiply them, and you could subtract them. Subtracting them brought you to negative integers. Then you learnt how to divide them and this took you to fractions and thus the rational numbers. You could then manipulate these new numbers with the same operations.

At school you learnt about powers of numbers, and square roots of numbers, and you learnt about equations and how you could solve them to find the numbers which satisfied the equation. There were a few rules which acted like dead-ends however. You could never take the square root of a negative number. In fact any fractional power of a negative number should have filled you with trepidation (and possibly a frisson of excitement), though sometimes you saw that there were sneaky solutions to things like .…