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Old June 14 2013, 06:48 PM   #58
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Re: Division By Zero

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
This thread feels like a division by zero.

Captain McBain wrote: View Post
I was just throwing out a number, guys. I didn't mean that infinity was actually the answer to this. My point, again, is that maybe 24th century understanding would have something more to say about division by zero.
Dude, this is just... seriously.

Basic math, dude.
1/1 = 1
1/0.5 = 2
1/0.25 = 4
1/0.125 = 8
1/0.001 = 1,000
1/0.0001 = 10,000
1/0.00001 = 100,000
The closer you get towards 0, the greater the result. Hence 1/0 = Infinity.


And there will be no "greater understanding" in the future. This is seriously one of the worst examples you could have picked.
I disagree with this.

The problem is that we have to define division into something as opposed to division into nothing

Thinking of it in the terms that you showed in your post is a logic flaw.

If you have 1 apple and you divide by 1, you're distributing that apple to 1 box.

If we divide the apple by 2 boxes, you have to cut it in half to put each half in it's separate box, hence the answer would be 0.5

Where it gets strange is when you divide by decimals.

If you divide 1 apple into 1/2 a box, the answer will be 2. Why? because the 1 box is split in half, and the answer 2, in this case, literally means "the 2 halves of the 1 apple". Mathematically 2 is correct, logically it's only correct because it's now considering that 1 apple to be logically "split" into the compartments of the same box.

So if you divide 1 apple by 0.1 boxes, the answer is 10.
Again, you're taking 1 box, and logically splitting it into 10 compartments. So when you stick that apple into 10 compartments in a box, the apple automatically gets logically split into 10 pieces that all make up the "1" apple.

And you can keep on doing that as much as you can go down in decimal spaces.

Now if you divide 1 apple into zero boxes, you are doing an illogical operation. There is NO box to divide the apple into. The zero itself, at least in this case is not a number, it's a symbol that represents the LACK of a number. There are zero boxes means exactly "there aren't any boxes at all"

So you cannot divide the apple into nothing, because there's nothing to divide the apple into. So the answer is "undefined" because it's illogical, like trying to put a circular peg into a square hole.

The answer is NOT infinity! The concept of dividing into smaller and smaller decimal #'s means, no matter how small, there is always "something" to divide into, no matter how small. As soon as you replace it with zero, you now have nothing to divide into, and you are trying to do an illogical operation.

I don't know if Data would explain it that way, but it's what makes most sense logically.
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