On 18 January 2014 23:34, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> Alberto,
>
> What is amusing is that Ramanujan said this (that 1+2+3+... = -1/12) in a
> letter to find a job in England, just to illustrate that he was not bad in
> computing. He was of course considered as crackpot until the letter was
> given to Hardy, who recognized immediately the genius.
> Another amazing thing is that in string theory, the computation of  the
> mass of the photon leads to the expression 1/12 + (1+2+3+4+5+ ...). the
> physicists thought "shit, again an infinity", but were comforted by the
> number theorists, that on the complex numbers, this gives "somehow" the
> needed -1/12.
>

Or maybe it disproves string theory :-)

(Time for brass and woodwind theory to have a go?)

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