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Dividing By zero

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posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 05:55 PM
I think it goes something like this. By definition 0 is nothing. But in fact infinite.
This exact question has driven some mathematicians mad. I believe it goes into the legionness of quarks and small particle theory. A Schroeders/Shoinders? cat in the box kind of thing. Somewhat interdimensional.

LOL. I can't help remembering the general, can't remember his name, who was asked by a reporter point blank if we could achieve serious space travel.
He said 'Yes. If we could do the math'.

[edit on 9/10/2008 by jpm1602]

[edit on 9/10/2008 by jpm1602]

[edit on 9/10/2008 by jpm1602]

posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 08:09 PM
i'm stunned senseless...

none of you recall that chuck norris can divide by zero?
that's just sad.

posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 07:38 AM
Ah finally. Some geek mathy backup.

Why can't you divide a number by 0?

For one thing, when you divide one number by another, you expect the result to be another number. Look at the sequence of numbers 1/(1/2), 1/(1/3), 1/(1/4), ... . Notice that the bottoms of the fractions are 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, ..., and that they're going to zero. If there's a limit to this sequence, we would take that number and call it 1/0, so let's see if there is.
Well, the sequence turns out to be 2, 3, 4, ..., and that goes to infinity. Since infinity isn't a real number, we don't assign any value to 1/0. We just say it's undefined.

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Sigh, if I actually opened my eyes and read axis had it all along. Never mind.

[edit on 9/12/2008 by jpm1602]

posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 12:09 PM
The division by zero is useful to illustrate the fallacy of analogies. In this case, the analogy rests on the premise that if things work for others, they should work for me as well.

The descriptive term for symbol 0 is "number." That means it belongs to the family of other numbers, such as 1, 2, 3, . . . And so we get to zero through (a / a), (a -1) / (a - 1), (a - 2) / (a - 2), . . . starting with a = 5.

5 / 5 = 1
4 / 4 = 1
3 / 3 = 1
2 / 2 = 1
1 / 1 = 1
0 / 0 = ?

If a / a = 1 is a consistent result for all numbers, and zero is is a number as well, then, by analogy

0 / 0 = 1.

After verifying the correctness of the result through multiplication -- 1 x 0 = 0 -- number zero no longer feels bad about its rumored limited abilities. But size does matter.

Positive numbers 1, 2, 3 . . . count existing items, whereas 0 describes absence. Would the difference between PRESENCE and ABSENCE throw the monkey wrench into the analogy?

Yes it would. One of the problems with number zero is that it tells us nothing about PRESENCE turned into ABSENCE. For example, Albert ate all apples in the basket and now there is nothing (0) left. How many apples did Albert eat?

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