# Avoiding dividing by 0 in an equation

1. Nov 16, 2007

### Crusty

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. Nov 16, 2007

### Hurkyl

Staff Emeritus
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?

3. Nov 16, 2007

### Gib Z

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.

4. Nov 16, 2007

### HallsofIvy

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.

5. Nov 16, 2007

### christianjb

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.