Here is a quick demonstration of what can go wrong when you violate the rules of mathematics.

1. Let and .

2. Now this means that .

3. If we multiply both sides by we get .

4. If we then subtract from both sides we would have .

5. We can then factorise both sides to get .

6. Dividing both sides by would give us .

7. Substituting back the values of and would give us that .

8. So this "proves" that not .

Except that in step 6, when we are dividing by , we are in fact dividing by zero. This is a violation of the rules of mathematics and hence the reason why our conclusion is invalid.

Why not try this demonstration with someone you know and see if they can spot the problem?

Want more? Arrange a **session** today!

**CITE THIS AS:**

Ovens, Matthew. "Proof that 1 + 1 = 1. Not 2!?!" Retrieved from *YourStatsGuru*.

First published Dec, 2011 | Last updated: 20 January 2018

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