## Monday, January 2, 2017

### Inversion

Inversion is a process of working backwards, or inverting operations to solve a problem. Example of inverse operations are addition and subtraction. They are each an inverse of the other. Multiplication and division are inverses. Just as you can work backwards to check a solution to a problem you can work through inversion to find many ways to solve problems from the mundane to the extremely complex.

We can use inversion to add two numbers without adding. In, fact we can use it to add through the use of subtraction.  For example: we can add 3 + 5 by subtraction. First we will subtract 3 from 10 to get 7 then from 7 we well subtract the next number 5 to get 2. We can then subtract 2 from 10 again to get 8.

Now this seems an incredibly long way to add two numbers together. Yet, the importance is not in the specific inversion itself. It is in the way of thinking that it promotes. The ability to conceive of a new way of approaching a problem can often lead to a more profound discovery. It could lead you into finding a way to solve entire groups of problems.

It is a simple concept, work backwards. Look at the data and work backwards to determine the source.
An example can be found in inverse scattering problems. These problems look at the scattering to determine the source, or likely causal factors. Such as in sonar technologies. You look at the variations in the sound wave echos to locate objects.

The inverse scattering problem solving technique is also used in medicine. The Positron emission tomography (PET) scan uses the detection of photon bursts from the beta decay of radioisotopes.
Then working to generate an image of the targeted tissue from the scattered data.

It it is based on the category of problems called inverse problems. In these problems the likely source is the unknown, and only through inversion can you find trace back to the source. It is probably the most important class of problems, with this most important process of solving them.