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# What happens when you divide by zero?

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What happens when you divide by zero?

Apr 25, 2015

#9
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Let  x = 1   Then  x2 = 1 as well

So x2 - 1 = x - 1

The left-hand side can be written as (x+1)(x-1) so

(x + 1)(x - 1) = x-1

Divide both sides by x - 1 to get

x + 1 = 1

But we started by saying x = 1, so the left-hand side is 1 + 1 or 2.  This means the last equation is

2 = 1

This is the sort of thing that happens when you allow division by zero (which is what I did above when dividing through by x-1).

Apr 26, 2015

#1
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Division by zero is undefined mathematically, because, if you try to allow it, you get all sorts of inconsistencies appearing in your calculations.

.

Apr 25, 2015
#2
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Apr 25, 2015
#3
+2972
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or alan. its 0.

Apr 25, 2015
#4
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Try 1/0.1 then 1/0.01 then 1/0.001 then 1/0.0001 etc. where the denominator is getting closer and closer to 0.

Does it look like the fractions are getting closer to zero?

Informally, the limit is tending to infinity, rather than zero.  However, strictly, division by zero is still undefined.  If you allow it you can prove silly things like 2 = 1.

Apr 25, 2015
#5
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well still the answer is 0 number thingys

Apr 25, 2015
#6
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If by that you mean the result is not a proper number then I'll agree with you!

.

Apr 25, 2015
#7
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yup i mean it by that. at least you know what i mean. so overall, good job sir

Apr 25, 2015
#8
0
 (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧

Indifinty is the answer when dividing by zero

Apr 25, 2015
#9
+33619
+5

Let  x = 1   Then  x2 = 1 as well

So x2 - 1 = x - 1

The left-hand side can be written as (x+1)(x-1) so

(x + 1)(x - 1) = x-1

Divide both sides by x - 1 to get

x + 1 = 1

But we started by saying x = 1, so the left-hand side is 1 + 1 or 2.  This means the last equation is

2 = 1

This is the sort of thing that happens when you allow division by zero (which is what I did above when dividing through by x-1).

Alan Apr 26, 2015