A zero multiplication paradox

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

If Anna has 0 coins and Bertus has 0 coins aswell. Can you say that Anna has twice as much coins as Bertus? Because 2*0=0. But couldn`t you also say that Anna has four times more coins than Bertus, but simultaneously Bertus has 5 times more coins than Anna? Making it a paradox?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
2,788
586
This is not a paradox. Because for x=0, x=1x=2x=3x=4x=..., so you're just giving different names to the relationship between the two number of coins.
 
  • #3
33,262
4,963
I agree with @Shyan that this isn't a paradox. The product of any finite number and zero is zero.
 
  • #4
I agree mathimatically, but in a social concept where Anna says she has twice as much coins than Bertus, while Bertus can say at the same time he has 5 times more as coins than Anna.
 
  • #5
PhanthomJay
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
7,144
486
If Anna has 0 coins and Bertus has 0 coins aswell. Can you say that Anna has twice as much coins as Bertus? Because 2*0=0. But couldn`t you also say that Anna has four times more coins than Bertus, but simultaneously Bertus has 5 times more coins than Anna? Making it a paradox?
No paradox. You want to solve the equation A=xB, where x is the multiplier of how many more coins Anna has than Bertus. Now since A = B, then x = 1, or A/B = 1.

0/0 , which is indeterminate in general, in this specific problem is a specific number, namely, 0/0 is 1. Anna has the same number of non-existing coins as Bertus, none, no more, no less.

Q.E.D.
 
  • #6
2,788
586
I agree mathimatically, but in a social concept where Anna says she has twice as much coins than Bertus, while Bertus can say at the same time he has 5 times more as coins than Anna.
Its not a paradox even in that sense. You can test it. Tomorrow, go out and explain it to the first person you see and ask whether s\he thinks this is a paradox. Chances are very high that s\he tells you this is not a paradox and explains the reason very quickly.
 
  • #7
If it`sa paradox ir not is not really my point, sorry english isn`t my native language. I mean can Anna say that she has twice as more coins than Bertus and Bertus can say at the same time that he has 5 tikes as much coins than Anna?
 
  • #8
2,788
586
If it`sa paradox ir not is not really my point, sorry english isn`t my native language. I mean can Anna say that she has twice as more coins than Bertus and Bertus can say at the same time that he has 5 tikes as much coins than Anna?
Yes, because 0=0, no matter how those zeroes look like!
 
  • #9
795
7
I agree mathimatically, but in a social concept where Anna says she has twice as much coins than Bertus, while Bertus can say at the same time he has 5 times more as coins than Anna.
Yes, it's a language paradox or a language spin, a better word. For example if you and I run a race and you beat me by a mile, I can say that I finished second while you came in next to last! It's expressing the truth in such a way as to give the opposite impression. That's what politicians call spin.
 

Related Threads for: A zero multiplication paradox

  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
12K
  • Last Post
Replies
16
Views
8K
Replies
6
Views
16K
Replies
4
Views
888
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
6K
Replies
12
Views
7K
Top