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X/0 and a possible explanation of a solution

  1. Aug 27, 2003 #1
    First, let me say that I have degrees or anything. I'm just out of hig school and took regular math the whole time I was there. I am not a mathematician or a numerologist.

    But, I do have a theory.:wink:

    Could we say that 6/3 is the same as saying "six divided into three equal parts"?

    If so, would 6/0 be the same as saying "six divided into zero equal parts"?

    Since a nonexisting thing cannot have a numerical value, wouldn't 6/0=0?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2003 #2

    jcsd

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    I'm sorry it's just not that simple, you can define y in y = x/n as the number of sets containing n units that are needed to be added together to make up x.

    Also for example n(x/n) = x, but now you have 0*(0) = x which doesn't fit with this for any value of x other than 0, or another example y = x/n as n tends to 0, y tends to infinity. Therefore x/0 is undefined.
     
  4. Aug 27, 2003 #3
    a(b)=c so c/b=a

    How does 3(0)=0? You cannot say that 0/0=3.

    I was always told that any number times zero equalled zero.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2003 #4

    jcsd

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    That example was just to show you why having x/0 = 0 leads to inconsistencies, 0*0 = 0.
     
  6. Aug 27, 2003 #5
    Hmmm. There has to be a better answer than undefined. Don't know why, but it just doesn't seem right. Maybe someday . . .
     
  7. Aug 27, 2003 #6

    HallsofIvy

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    1)"Since a nonexisting thing cannot have a numerical value, wouldn't 6/0=0?"

    Are you saying that 0 is not a number?

    2)"I was always told that any number times zero equalled zero."

    Yes, that's exactly WHY 6/0 cannot be 0: 0*0 is not equal to 6.
     
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