If the answer is truly necessary, I suggest rewriting the problem to better define the necessary steps. Solving a badly defined problem solves nothing.

It’s schrodinger’s equation.

Both answers are equally valid until you open the box.

Don’t open the fucking box!

On obscure math.

I’m also partial to 0.999… = 1 as a brain hurter.

Edit to add:

Highlighting my favourite “Huh What” argument from that link.

Math is hard…

This is why we had to fake the Moon landings.

Edit - another comment I cant delete being blanked by me.

I used to think questions like these were harmless, but these days I wonder if some of them aren’t deliberately seeded. People getting frothy online about why the convention they learned in grade school is the one and only correct order of operations aren’t busy arguing about more important things.

Also, there can be absolute certainty that in the case of this equation, someone on the internet IS wrong.

These questions are so dumb though. First BEMAS/PEMDAS really isn’t that hard to follow… but beyond that… This is like writing a grammatically unclear sentence and then asking the meaning. No one in mathematics, science, or engineering would write out an equation so ambigously to leave it open to interpretation. There is a heavy reliance on the over/under division symbol and parenthesis to enforce proper order of operations and make it clear what was meant. That said… operations are followed left to right when they are of the same priority.

The answer is obviously one third.

8 ÷ 2(2 + 2)

8 ÷ 24

/s

this is the perfect example, you are either following PEDMAS or you aren’t. You aren’t and it made me LOL

It is ambiguous, because of the lack of a multiplication sign, meaning it’s an implicit multiplication.

“*2a*” is generally considered “stickier” than “2 x a”. So

```
5 / 2a
```

would be

```
5
-------
2a
```

What’s ambiguous is whether “2(4)” should be treated like “2a” or “2 x a”.

In the real world, if a mathematician wrote this equation they would probably take a look at it and rewrite it. Math is supposed to be a method of communication. It’s not a series of gotchas. If it’s ambiguous, it gets written more clearly.

But what if it was instead 8/2x and x=4? Go left to right, and that is 16. But seems that is pretty clearly NOT correct. If that order of operations is intended it should be written as 8/2*x.

Just as with a number directly in front of a variable, a number in front of a parenthesis with no symbol between them is not just multiplication, it is part of the parenthetical value.

I remember my Algebra teacher saying that we’d need this in our adult life, and I got this far without it…

12345 = 456

I’ll just use MS Excel. The correct answer is 8 February 2022

Also 987654321/123456789 =8 (accurate to 7 decimal places)

42

End of story

iħ ∂ψ/∂t = -(ħ^{2}/2m)∇^{2}ψ + Vψ will be sorry to hear it’s been replaced.

(And no, that m is not in the numerator no matter what WolframAlpha thinks.)

But I am going to say the number of people who are arguing that whatever *actual* mathematicians do in their journals should be ignored as some weird edge case, because *proper* math is all about grade school mnemonics and programming and that’s the end of the story, feels kind of discouraging.