# What is 8 2 2 4

## Math problem confuses the internet | Can you do this

Solve 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.

**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.

**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 ⋅ 4**otherwise 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.

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. Brackets2. potencies3. 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.

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