That's just a trick that teachers use to help their students with multiplication. If you follow the order of operations, you will get the same answer:
Thanks Neo, I'm going to show this to my maths teacher and see if she can figure it out.
You can convert the division symbol (48 divided by 2) into a multiplication problem (48 multiplied by 0.5). Then following the same pattern used by the before operations to obtain 288. It is a valid rule since no calculations are being made (only using an identity property of multiplication and division)
The strict correct answer is that the syntax of the equation was wrong to begin with.
It boils down to how you read this:
Do you read it as (1/2) * x or as 1/(2x). The way it was originally written does not specify the divisor in an explicit way leaving the equation ambiguous
[Edited by Neo7, 4/8/2011 3:24:59 PM]
This was put on 4chan as a troll thread, so when people said 2 they would troll them into thinking it was definitely 288.
Show you what I mean.
People think its 288 which is wrong.. lets see the equation with the supposed 288 answer
48 = 288
Cross multiplication then.
48 = 288 * 2(9+3) => 48 = 288 * 24 => 48 = 6912 >.<
48 = 2 * 2(9+3) => 48 = 2 * 24 => 48 = 48
[Edited by DABhand, 4/8/2011 7:14:47 PM]
The thread originated from Team Liquid actually. There was quite the discussion about it there (in fact I think it's still on going)
The parenthesis has to be worked out first
Even without working out the Parenthesis first
[Edited by DABhand, 4/8/2011 8:18:05 PM]
When you hear hoofbeats, don't think Zebra.
EDIT: Fixed :P
[Edited by moderator DABhand, 4/8/2011 9:18:08 PM]