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Originally posted by PhoenixOD
reply to post by wildespace
Zero isnt really a number , it more like the absence of numbers.
I don't hear mathematicians complaining about it as much as I do physicists, like Michio Kaku.
Originally posted by wildespace
Perhaps dividing by zero is not as scary as the academia makes it to be.
The reason maths has such trouble with division by zero is because a) the result of a calculation is expected to be a number (and infinity is not a number), and b) because in algebra, division is the inverse of multiplication, and multiplying any number by zero results in zero.
The appearance of singularities in general relativity is commonly perceived as signaling the breakdown of the theory. This breakdown, however, is expected; it occurs in a situation where quantum effects should describe these actions, due to the extremely high density and therefore particle interactions. To date, it has not been possible to combine quantum and gravitational effects into a single theory, although there exist attempts to formulate such a theory of quantum gravity. It is generally expected that such a theory will not feature any singularities.
Originally posted by wildespace
Have you ever wondered what happens if you divide by zero? Everyone keeps saying it's impossible, but has anyone actually tried to understand what would happen? Maths is a very abstract and arcane science, but sometimes using practical examples is more helpful when trying to understand a seemingly unresolvable situation.
So here's my take on it - dividing by zero results in infinity.
There are two things that show this (at least the two that I'm aware of):
1. Black holes. Density = mass / volume. The singularity at the centre of a black hole is an infinitely small point with infinite density. For a black hole, the formula is density = mass / 0 and the result is infinity.
2. Divide a number by a divisor that is 0, for example 0.5 ... Note the result. Then decrease the divisor by half (to 0.25) and note what happens to the result. Keep halving the divisor, and you'll see that as it approachers zero, the result approaches infinity.
For me, the two examples are quite enough to conclude that dividing by zero results in infinity.
The problem of dividing by zero reminds me of the impossibility of having square root of -1. Yet we have found a way to deal with it by using imaginary numbers. Perhaps dividing by zero is not as scary as the academia makes it to be.
The reason maths has such trouble with division by zero is because a) the result of a calculation is expected to be a number (and infinity is not a number), and b) because in algebra, division is the inverse of multiplication, and multiplying any number by zero results in zero.
So sometimes it's good to think outside the box.
Have you ever wondered what happens if you divide by zero?
Originally posted by wildespace
2. Divide a number by a divisor that is 0, for example 0.5 ... Note the result. Then decrease the divisor by half (to 0.25) and note what happens to the result. Keep halving the divisor, and you'll see that as it approachers zero, the result approaches infinity.
Try dividing the amount of food by the number of people, with say 2 pounds of steak, or something perishable like that.
Originally posted by jiggerj
The way I see it, nothing can be divided by zero. It's like saying you need to cook something for supper when you have no food to cook. Supper times no food equals no supper. Five people that need to eat, divided by no food = no food. You don't even turn on the oven for this.
Originally posted by SandalphonIn my world, there is no such thing as zero.
Originally posted by wildespaceEveryone keeps saying it's impossible, but has anyone actually tried to understand what would happen?
Originally posted by ImaFungi
As the statement 4 divided by 2, asks you to take 4; x x x x .. and divide them into 2 groups or there are 2 even groups of 2 in 4; x x ......x x
Wouldnt the statement 4 divided by 0 also be interpreted as; x x x x .... divided into 0 groups. Which can be interpreted as either, dont do anything, or I dont want 4 divided at all or by anything (which would mean 4 divided by 0 is 4? because 4 divided by nothing will leave you with 4). Or I want you to cram a real quantity of 4 into 0, so what can you do to make 4, disappear and equal 0. You would have to infinitely divide the 4, which is where you get your OP idea from.
Any number divided by zero = infinity
I don't think Michio Kaku has anything to be ashamed of regarding his black hole observations. (Though perhaps he should be ashamed of his claim that people would freak out if they learned aliens were visiting Earth...since so many people seem to think that's happening anyway...I don't agree they would freak out in general...maybe just a handful.)
Originally posted by yampa
Zero makes a lot more sense when you put in the axes. The number line is positional, each space takes a unit, zero allows you to use all 10 positions from the decimal system etc. It allows you to use the same set of numbers for negative and positive on the same line.
Anyone invoking black holes here should be ashamed of themselves.