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Avoiding dividing by 0 in an equation

  1. Nov 16, 2007 #1
    What was the method for modifying an equation to avoid dividing by zero?
    I think it involved adding 1 somewhere, then removing the error that creates later.


    For example,

    a / b = c

    It is possible that one of the values placed in the b variable could be 0. How would the equation be modified so that dividing by zero wouldn't occur?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2007 #2

    Hurkyl

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    If b is a variable that could be zero, then a/b=c doesn't even make sense in the first place.

    What is the context of this?
     
  4. Nov 16, 2007 #3

    Gib Z

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    Its a commonly left out detail, sometimes considered obvious, sometimes completely forgotten. When you have a fraction a/b, b can not equal zero. Its a restriction placed on b in order for the division to be defined.
     
  5. Nov 16, 2007 #4

    HallsofIvy

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    The only way to "modify" the equation a/b= c so that you can avoid dividing by 0 is to remove the division entirely: a= bc.
     
  6. Nov 16, 2007 #5
    Of course there's the possibility that in the limit a->0 and b->0 ; a/b equals a real number and the eqn. makes sense. Hard to tell without context.
     
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