# What is 8 2 2 4

## Math problem confuses the internet | Can you do thisSolve a task?

A really simple math problem is currently dividing the Internet community and causing confusion. The reason: People come up with two different answers. Do you know the right solution?

At regular intervals people argue about optical illusions like "What color is this dress?" Or about irrelevant first-world problems like "Do you wash your legs in the shower or not?"

However, this time around, it's a math tweet that got math aces around the world excited. The Twitter user @pjmdolI posted a picture with the equation on his profile a few days ago 8 : 2(2 + 2) and asking his followers to solve them.

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The result: The tweet was shared and replied to thousands of times in a very short time. The problem: There are two answers: 1 and 16. Which of them is correct?

Of course there is a trick to the whole thing, because how you solve the problem depends on the order in which you carry out the individual calculation steps.

### Some say: The solution is 1!

So there are people who follow the math rule “one parenthesis is calculated first”.

The calculation method: You do the math first 2 + 2 and simplifies the equation too 8 : 2(4). Then you still have a bracket left, which is why you go first 2 4 must calculate before proceeding. How to get on 8 : 8 what the same 1 is.

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For example, one user writes: "I have two math degrees - the answer is 1". Another writes: “1. The people who say 16 have to repeat the math ”. Are they both right?

### This is what the others say: The answer is 16!

“No!” Claims the other camp of the network community.

The calculation method: After getting the equation on 8 : 2(4) has brought you must first 8 : 2 calculate. That in turn does 4(4)what ultimately leads to the outcome 16 brings.

The math rule behind it: If only arithmetic operations of the same rank occur in a task, in this case only the point calculations multiplication and division, the following applies: You have to calculate from left to right!

So in our example first 8 : 2 and not 2 ⋅ 4otherwise you will get a wrong result.

A supporter of Team-16 replies to all Team-1 supporters: "I took three math courses, differential equations and linear algebra, the answer is 16 brother".

And she is not alone in that. Other Twitter users also diligently pulled out pens, paper and calculators.

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Pretty confusing - or not? But who is right now?

Mike Breen of the American Mathematical Society also did the task for Popular Mechanics, a US popular science magazine dedicated to science and technology. His result is: 16.

It also refers to the fact that the calculation rules must be applied in the following order:

1. Brackets
2. potencies
3. Point calculation (multiplication and division)
4. Line calculation (addition and subtraction)
5. calculate from left to right.

Incidentally, if you were wondering about a supposedly missing arithmetic symbol: The professional and hobby math aces did not make a careless mistake here. Are you dealing with an equation of form a (b + c) to do that stands for a⋅ (b + c). The symbol for the multiplication can therefore be omitted according to general convention.