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Socoder -> Off Topic -> 0/0

Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 07:39
What does it actually equal? I see four possible solutions.

  1. 0/0=undefined, that's what the calculator says. Boring. Since there is ambiguity I guess that this is the right answer, but I still don't like it.
  2. 0/0=0. That makes sense, since nothing divided by anything would still equal nothing.
  3. 0/0=1. Since x/x=1, then why shuoldn't it apply here as well?
  4. 0/0=infinity, since 0 adds up an infinite amount of times in 0.

What would you say the answer is?
Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 08:10
My brain exploded while trying to understand some articles on the subject, but there is apparently an infinite amount of answers - the solution is any number except for infinity.

0 x 1 = 0 so 0/0 = 1
0 x 2 = 0 so 0/0 = 2 also

Dunno if that's right though!

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Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 08:59
1 apple / 1 person = 1 each
0 apples / 0 people = 0 each

So 0.

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Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 11:16
0 divided by 0 (or any division by 0 for that matter) has different answers depending on the situation. Take Jay's example. 0 apples into 0 people = 0 each. Makes sense. But say you look at some graphs, such as y=1/x. The asymptote, where x=0, doesn't exist - but looking at the shape of the graph, it logically stretches to infinity.

So really, 0/0= whatever you want it to equal for the situation it applies to. From a programming perspective, you'd probably want a function to deal with those cases.

A mushroom a day keeps the doctor away...

Keep It Simple, Shroom!
Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 11:59
For all intensive purposes, anything divided by 0 is undefined. I don't know if you know anything about limits, but the wikipedia explanation is pretty good about showing how the left and right limits don't equal one another, therefore no limit exists, therefore it does not approach any single answer.


Here's a couple interesting ones to get you going crazy:
0^0 = 1
0! = 1

have fun

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Computer Science Series: Logic (pt1) (part 2) (part 3) 2's Complement Mathematics: Basic Differential Calculus
Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 12:10

In College we were taught that 0/0 is undefined.

But using limit theory: The limit as x approaches 0 from either the left or the right, you would get either a large positive number or a large negative number, if you chose to stop somewhere in that small interval, somewhere before zero.

So using 1/x and evaluating let's say, 1/(1/10,000,000,000),
where x is 1/10,000,000,000, you do get an answer.

Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 13:40
I actually asked a calculus teacher this a few years ago. He told me that the answer actually depends on the context. Can't remember the specifics though.
Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 14:21

Your teacher was right.

Depending upon how you intend to use 1/x, the answer is either undefined, or some finite number if you use limit theory.

Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 14:36
Flame The Great
I have to agree with zebeste. The simple x=x+1 in normal math terms is not possible in the sense that there is no answer. However, in programming, we use this to increment a value. So the situation would define the answer, much like the topic of what car is the best, since there are cars that are the best with miles per gallon, most capacity, tow capacity, etc.

Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 14:45
Long time, no see!
Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 15:12
Flame The Great
Allo. I've been busy with school and trying to deal with reality (grandfather passed away, CISCO teachers being swapped, my shop going to...ya, let's not go there).

I have been programming in SL (Second Life) working on projects for hire and selling copies of my vender system to 'large' businesses in world for some good profits (I get about $375 each time I sell a copy) as well as good remarks (apparently other venders aren't designed with good administration tools :shrugs.

Other than that, I've been also busy learning new programming languages (C#, Java, C++, PHP, LSL) and trying to keep up with my studies.

Sorry for the off topic post. ^^;
Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 16:08
Flame!! Welcome back!! woot!

Back on topic, there's always the obvious point that 0 doesn't actually physically exist..
Anything greater than one is a physical number, since you can have 1 apple.. 0 is not actually a number.. it's the idea of nothing, that was inevitably given a value so that it could exist. . But it still doesn't! It's still just a concept.

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Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 16:38
Well, I think 0 exists just as much as -1 does, or i does, for that matter. I think to say that 0 does not exist is a fallacy; if there are 0 of something, then it does not exist, however 0 itself does exist. I see numbers as being a concept, regardless; they have applications, but when working just with numbers they are their own field.

|edit| Welcome back flame! |edit|

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Computer Science Series: Logic (pt1) (part 2) (part 3) 2's Complement Mathematics: Basic Differential Calculus
Mon, 16 Mar 2009, 21:58
Evil Roy Ferguso
It's totally nullity.
Tue, 17 Mar 2009, 02:34
"Only Chuck Norris can divide by zero." - LoL

-- even better --

"Chuck Norris just looks at zero, and it divides itself."

Check out my excellent homepage!
Tue, 17 Mar 2009, 15:59
"Only Chuck Norris can divide by zero." - LoL

Haha I was about to post that but I was too lazy. Ya beat me to it