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Latest revision as of 23:05, 16 October 2016

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1855 xkcd comics, and only 20 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

[edit] Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Existence Proof
Real analysis is way realer than I expected.
Title text: Real analysis is way realer than I expected.

[edit] Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Needs more work.

This seems to be a continuation of 982: Set Theory, where numbers were "executed" to prove a point. This time it goes even further, with Miss Lenhart (and students) taking up arms to destroy the function value, which they have proven to exist. In the last panel, some students off screen begin to wonder if they are in the right class, as normal math classes do not take up swords to fight abstract concepts[citation needed]. Another student remarks that they are finally in the right math class, implying that this is the kind of thing they wanted from their math curriculum all along.

The phrase "We ride" is commonly used in rallying battle cries, particularly in fantasy or medieval dramas where characters are preparing to enter combat on horseback. Variations of the phrase are used several times in The Lord of the Rings, for example. In addition, the number which must be destroyed could be a reference to the One Ring.

The title text refers to Real Analysis, a branch of mathematics dealing with real numbers and real-valued functions (as opposed to studies dealing with imaginary numbers in the complex plane). As the speaker implies, Real Analysis is supposed to remain confined to the theoretical realm of mathematics; certainly nobody signing up for such a class would ever expect to be embroiled in a crusade against intangible constructs! The use of the neologism "realer" conveys that the situation has suddenly developed unusually high stakes, in a manner similar to the phrase "shit just got real". This nuance would be lost if the word "realer" were replaced with the technically correct phrasing of "more real".

[edit] Transcript

[Miss Lenhart stands in front of a whiteboard and points at calculations written on it.]
Miss Lenhart: There exists some number x such that f(x)=G(f(0))=1.
[Miss Lenhart moves her arm in a frameless panel.]
Miss Lenhart: Oh yes.
Miss Lenhart: Somewhere out there, it exists.
[Zoom-in on Miss Lenhart raising a fist.]
Miss Lenhart: And we must find it... and destroy it.
[Miss Lenhart raises a sword.]
Miss Lenhart: Grab your swords, students! We ride!
Student #1 (off-screen): I think I'm in the wrong math class?
Student #2 (off-screen): I'm finally in the right one.

Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

[edit] New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.

[edit] Rules

Don't be a jerk.

There are a lot of comics that don't have set-in-stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to (and helping everyone better understand) xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited). Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, post a message to the Admin requests board.

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