zero

messa

New member
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
29
Hello, My question is:

Sue argued that 0/0=1 because any number divided by itself is 1. What would you tell her?

I was thinking that the zero property says that any number didvided by zero is undefined. But I think the question is asking for more than that. Could someone please help me here?
 

ting

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
87
"Thou shalt not divide by zero!"

From

0/0 = 1

You get

1 * 0 = 0

and

0/1 = 0

Both of which are true.


So you'd try to convinve sue that dividing by zero is a bad idea, period.

Mutiplying by a number cancels dividing by it, so multiplying by zero should undo dividing by zero, which it does not!


(1/0) * 0 = 1 Not true, multiply by zero and you get zero


or just ask her to leave the class!


Google will give you lots of info on dividing by zero, here is a couple of links.

http://mathforum.org/t2t/discuss/messag ... =3893&n=16

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.divideby0.html
 

Matt

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
183
messa said:
Hello, My question is:

Sue argued that 0/0=1 because any number divided by itself is 1. What would you tell her?
Any fraction with a 0 in the numerator is 0. For example, 0/143=0. Thus 0/0=0.
 

stapel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Messages
15,943
We have three possible interpretations:

. . . . .1) 0/m = 0 for all m other than 0.

If we allow m = 0, then 0/0 = 0.

. . . . .2) m/m = 1 for all m other than 0.

If we allow m = 0, then 0/0 = 1.

. . . . .3) m/0 is undefined for all m other than 0.

If we allow m = 0, then 0/0 is undefined.

Hence, "0/0" is an "indeterminant" expression. It may have a defined interpretation within certain contexts, but my understanding is that, at the moment, "0/0" has no fixed, across-the-board interpretation, and is, in general, to be avoided.

Eliz.
 
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