Can you Find the Value of the Equation 6 ÷ 2(1+2) = ?

The equation has more than one legitimate meaning.

## Some might believe the answer is 1, others might think the answer is 9.

And neither answer is really wrong.

After carrying out the addition inside the brackets, we are left with 6÷2(3). Some people will argue that we should work from left to right, calculating 6÷2=3 and then multiplying 3×3=9, which is the answer given by Google’s calculator.

Others, and I consider myself part of this camp, would argue that 2(1+2) should be computed in its entirety first, since the juxtaposition of these terms without a × sign implies that it consists of a single element.

A mathematician would more normally express the equation as follows:

That leaves us with 6÷6=1.

The problem here is a poorly constructed equation, and the ÷ is the main culprit. Mathematicians rarely use this sign (or the multiplication sign ×); in practice, they prefer to use clear, unambiguous notation such as fractions.

If we want to convey the first meaning above, it would be more common to write the equation with extra brackets as (6/2)(1+2), which gives the answer 9. To convey the second meaning, we would write 6/(2(1+2)) as shown in the equation above, which gives the answer 1.

By writing things this way, we can eliminate the whole debate and save everyone a lot of time and energy.

Online puzzles can be a great way to refresh your mathematical skills, but it’s important to watch out for the deliberately confusing ones.

*Source: http://newsroom.uts.edu.au*