# 1 over 0

1. Aug 4, 2004

### abc

why can't we divide 1 by 0 ?????
can anyone prove iy mathmatically ??????
thanx
regards
abc

2. Aug 4, 2004

### Nexus[Free-DC]

There's a number of reasons why dividing anything by zero is absurd, but here's a simple argument:

Suppose there was such a number as 1/0, call it k.

Now suppose we find 1/(0+0). This must be equal to k/2 since the denominator in the second fraction is twice the denominator of the first fraction. But 0+0=0 and so we find that k=k/2. Therefore k=0.

But now we have 1/k=k and so k is plus or minus 1, which is not zero.

The point is that dividing by zero generally gives you conflicting results, or else you can make it give you any result you want. Neither of which is particularly useful.

3. Aug 4, 2004

### abc

thank u very much Nexus[Free-DC] for wonderful explanation ....
regards
abc

4. Aug 8, 2004

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
This is something a math teacher told me long ago about dividing by zero. I hope I remember it right. I thought it was clever.

Suppose you have a bunch of coconuts that you want to divide evenly to give
to a group of monkeys.

If you have 6 coconuts and 3 monkeys, how many does each monkey get?
6 coconuts divided by 3 monkeys = 2 coconuts for each monkey.

If you have 3 coconuts and 3 monkeys, how many does each monkey get?
3 coconuts divided by 3 monkeys = 1 coconut for each monkey.

If you have 0 coconuts and 3 monkeys, how many does each monkey get?
0 coconuts divided by 3 monkeys = 0 coconuts for each monkey.

but if you have 3 coconuts and 0 monkeys, how many does each monkey get?
It's now a nonsense question because there are no monkeys!

5. Aug 8, 2004

### Gza

I'm going to have to disagree with your proof Mathishard. My disagreeance stems from the fact that monkeys don't eat coconuts. :rofl:

6. Aug 8, 2004

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
I stand corrected!!!

7. Aug 8, 2004

### HallsofIvy

That's why monkeys seldom appear in formal mathematical proofs!

8. Aug 8, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
But they do like to chuck them around...especially at the heads of human passersby. Who said anything about eating ?