You have a calculator whose multiplication button is broken. The only operations that work are addition (x+y), subtraction (xy), and reciprocation (1/x).
Can you use this calculator to multiply two numbers?
I just want to make sure I understand how this calculator works.
For example, I am sure I can do the following without any confusion:
(x+y)^{1} = 1/(x+y)
The sequence of "key strokes" would be x, +, y, inv.
But can I do this?
x^{1} + y^{1} = 1/x+1/y = (x+y)/(xy)
The sequnce of keystrokes would be x, inv, +, y, inv.
Or would that give me (x^{1} + y)^{1} = x/(xy+1)
See my confusion?

Posted by nikki
on 20050120 20:32:08 