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Negative Numbers – Physical Meaning

Physical Meaning of negative Numbers

Negative Numbers!

What do you feel when you hear it?
No,you may not feel anything! because you are so familiar with it.
But was it like this before?

Here goes many questions people would have asked, if it was before half a millennium:

How can you imagine something below Zero?
How can we have anything less than nothing?

People were much obsessed with the concept of zero. Zero was the number representing emptiness and still is. The concept of emptiness, nothingness, etc. created the thought of a finalization, which further evolved to make people believe that zero is the end,like there is nothing beyond it. It was this belief which made them ask such questions.

But soon we found the analogies for Negative numbers. negative numbers indicate the ‘reverse-ification’ of any normal action. To indicate the direction of growth in the opposite manner. Clearly, the negative number wasn’t anything that conflicts the idea of zero, but a modification which we extended to mathematize real life situations.

For example, we could represent the direction of forces, component forms of vectors, vector addiction, temperature below 0 degree Celsius, etc.

Generally, the understanding of negative numbers helped us to think beyond it in a different manner, whenever we reach a bounded mathematical condition.

In general, understanding of negative numbers made new basis in theoretical thinking. Whenever we face a mathematical boundary,we are now forced to think beyond it, in a new way, rather than believing we have have reached the end.

This was clearly visible in the understanding of Complex Numbers.


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