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0/0 Solved

  1. Dec 7, 2006 #1
    ...or so says Dr.James Anderson from the University of Reading. The school students to whom this was shown feel "cool" to have understood 'nullity' - the result of dividing zero by zero - for the first time in 1200 years.


    There's a video where the Dr.Anderson demonstrates this, but I'm not able to view it at the moment.

    Decide for yourself. :tongue2:
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2006 #2
    Holy crap, screw L'Hospital's rule, this limit approaches nullity! :biggrin:

    I will be tempted to use this new theorem on my next exam.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2006
  4. Dec 7, 2006 #3
    I like UK Anonymous's answer, I think I will put it in my signature.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2006
  5. Dec 7, 2006 #4
    this isn't mathematics, it's just error detection
  6. Dec 7, 2006 #5
    Wonder who programmed in that feature...
  7. Dec 7, 2006 #6

    From his official webpage, he links to his personal webpage, where he links to his , err, "original research":


    Typical crackpottery. This "Reading University" must be some dirthole indeed, to be hiring loons like this.
  8. Dec 7, 2006 #7
    If you're really bored, you could while away time by counting the number of times he's used the word 'Arithmetic(s)' in his first paper.
  9. Dec 7, 2006 #8
    though it's not a top class institution it's by no means a dirthole either. very hard to sack academics in the uk when they go bonkers though
  10. Dec 7, 2006 #9
    I'm not familiar with any research there, the only thing I've heard about this Reading is this crackpot guy. Certainly they have an image problem now.
  11. Dec 7, 2006 #10
    judging from a quick glance at one of the papers, he's just put a symbol to the notion of undefined
  12. Dec 7, 2006 #11
    reading's computer science department got a 4 in the independent, uk wide, research assessment exercise 2001 (the most recent). the scale runs 1, 2, 3b, 3a, 4, 5, 5*; 5* being the highest.

    his research group specialises in fault tolerance, and as i suggested above, i think he's just mathematically formalised division by zero errors, then presented it as some new mathematical discovery

    i wonder if he knows about non-standard analysis
  13. Dec 7, 2006 #12


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    Division by zero is undefined in nonstandard analysis too.
  14. Dec 7, 2006 #13
    sure, but i wonder if he's rediscovering division by infinitesimals, his strange historical reference an'all
  15. Dec 7, 2006 #14


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    The chances of me landing on an aeroplane are as close to nullity as you can get.
  16. Dec 7, 2006 #15
    "...heart pace maker divides by zero, you're dead..."

  17. Dec 7, 2006 #16
    I thought this comment was particularly funny:

  18. Dec 7, 2006 #17


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    '...proclaims Dr Anderson having demonstrated his solution on a whiteboard at Highdown School, in Emmer Green.'

  19. Dec 7, 2006 #18


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    BREAKING NEWS: Professor comes up with new word for "indeterminate"!!!!

    Ridiculous. How can people get away with news stories like this? Also hilarious: he defined 1/0 to be infinity and -1/0 to be -infinity. No word on 1/-0 though! It's like that monthly division by 0 post, but on an international scale.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2006
  20. Dec 7, 2006 #19
    Don't forget the symbol! :P
  21. Dec 7, 2006 #20


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    There's something (well, more than 1 thing) amusing in the PDF he has for that. One of his axioms in there is that [tex]0^{-1} = \infty[/tex]. I wonder what distinction he makes between 1/0 and 0-1.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2006
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