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I love google. so i test all the functions out that provided by google.

But one day my friend asked me what is 1 / 0? I know it but i can not remember how to say it,the teminology. What I was sure is it is undefined or should be error(computer science students always treat it as a runtime error)

and then I searched on Google , its caculator function which is the same place as keyword input textfield, just type 1 / 0. and search it will give you the result. I was supprised that Google got me 1 / 0 = 0, as a science student, I am sure it is wrong. So I e-mail google team to let them know this arithmetic bug. (was excited) After a couple of days I got mail from them with "Thanks" , pretty good aye. But until now it is still not fixed.

I asked my friend who is good at math about the name of this "error".

Then I know It is undefined. anything / 0 = undefined.!

It's mathematically impossible to divide by zero.

This [google.com] explains why. :)

Try dividing by zero in Windows Calculator or Excel etc, you'll get the same error. :)

It's mathematically impossible to divide by zero.

I beg to differ -- mathematically pretty much everything is possible: I believe 1/0 should be positive infinity -- its just computers and their non-mathematically inclined users will have difficulty grasping how big is the infinity ;)

Agree with LORD. It is not impossible just indeterminate.

Can infinity actually be an answer?

No it is an abstract concept (not a real number) so in this case cannot be used as an answer either. Dividing by zero is undefined but does in no way mean that it infinate.

joined:Apr 2, 2004

posts:737

votes: 0

0 is a pretty bad guess of infinity, in my engineering perspective.

"Lets just say that the infinity (which is the correct answer to 1/0 problem)"

It isn't the correct answer. If 1/0 = infinity then what is 2/0. Twice infinity? Also if this is the case then you are saying that infinity x 0 = 1?

So any real number divided by zero = infinity(not a real number) then:

1/0 = infinity

2/0 = infinity

By this definition 1/1 should equal 2/1

[**edited by**: arubicus at 12:29 am (utc) on April 20, 2005]

Here you go:

Replace the two * with tt.

[mathforum.org...]

[**edited by**: ciml at 9:12 am (utc) on April 22, 2005]

[edit reason] No unlinked URLs please. [/edit]

It isn't the correct answer.

It is the correct answer to 1/0 problem, and it also happens to be the correct answer to 2/0 problem ;)

By this definition 1/1 should equal 2/1

Nope: 1/1 is not equal 2/1, where as 1/0 is equal (has same result) as 2/0. :)

Also if this is the case then you are saying that infinity x 0 = 1?

Now this is a good question that I can't remember exact answer to, but we can always google it ;)

"Nope: 1/1 is not equal 2/1, where as 1/0 is equal (has same result) as 2/0. :)"

The result would be nonsense because of 1/1 would have to = 2/1 if 1/0 has the same result as 2/0 if infinity were used as an answer to 2/0 = (notice the equal sign) and 1/0 both. Infinity cannot be a direct defined answer to both unless infinity itself is defined first.

Then I ask you how much is 2/0? Would it be twice infinity? Is that possible? Or is it the same? If it is the same then again 1/1 should also be equal to 2/1.

If infinity x 0 = 0 then where do you get 1 or 2 uless you substitute a REAL number! Hence again you are not defining what REAL number infinity is.

Also you are breaking the rule for all real numbers (I noticed you can find it on the website above also) a(b/a) = b. If a = 2 and b = 4 then 2(4/2) = 4

With the stated rule...

a = 0 and b = 1

0(1/0) should equal 1 not infinity.

Also you are breaking the rule for all real numbers

Infinity is an abstract concept and its a cool answer to 1/0 problem :)

Hey, don't take it with me, take it with Abstract Algebra , you might want to search for "Limits and division by zero" on Google, plenty of interesting stuff :)

But the limit of 1/0 isn't the same as the answer of 1/0

Its a cool, google-like, better answer that will make whoever seen it deep into magical world of abstraction that helped created computers as we know it. Is it not worth returning infinity as the answer rather than stupid "undefined"?

Its a cool, google-like, better answer that will make whoever seen it deep into magical world of abstraction that helped created computers as we know it. Is it not worth returning infinity as the answer rather than stupid "undefined"?

Well, it isn't worth making it infinity it for a student using Google's calculator to answer math problems which may be graded! :-/

But having it = 0 doesn't help, either.

Well, it isn't worth making it infinity it for a student using Google's calculator to answer math problems which may be graded! :-/

Hey, if you use Google (instead of knowing result straight away) to determine what is the result of 1/0 then you deserve the grade you will get ;)

Anyhow, its all very academical and this thread might just loop into infinity, so to wrap it up I personally favour the infinity as the right answer to the question, but I appreciate that most people would prefer to see something else.

*No it is not: 0, 1 or even googol are all much much smaller than (positive) infinity.*

Since all those number are an infinite distance away from infinity, each of them is equally suited as an approximation. That doesn't mean they're *good* approximations, just that there are no better ones... ;)

*It isn't the correct answer. If 1/0 = infinity then what is 2/0. Twice infinity?*

Yes. Just that infinity multiplied by any non-zero number is again infinity.

*Also if this is the case then you are saying that infinity x 0 = 1?*

No. Any number (including infinity) multiplied by zero results in zero:

infinity * 0 = 0

You need to look at zero and infinity as opposed concepts, and it will eventually start to make sense. At both ends of the scale there are a few special cases to deal with.

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