Why can zero not be divided?

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mrslane's profile pic

mrslane | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

A lot of great & detailed answers above so I will just add my small note:

Zero has no value. It is more-or-less, "not allowed" to divide a number by 0. If it were possible, a lot of math rules would not work. If you try to divide by zero--in reality, you aren't actually trying to divide by anything. Just remember, dividing by zero is not actually dividing. Sure...you can pretend to divide by zero---you're just not really doing it! :)


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neela | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Zero can be divided any number. But any number can not be divided by zero.

Example and explanation:

0/1 = 0. 0/6 = 0. 0/any number =  0. By these simple examples we conclude that zero can be divided by any number other than zero and the result is zero.

Now we take 5*1 = 5 implies 5/5 = 1.

9*2 = 18. So 18/9 = 2.

9*0 = 0, 5*0 = 0, 13*0 = 0. So any number * 0 = 0......(1)

Therefore  ny number*0 = 0, implies that from 0/0 = any number. So 0/0 is an indeterminate number. There is no fixed answer to the form 0/0.

From (1) logically we get:

There is no number * zero  = a number than zero.

Therefore, no number = a number other than zero/zero.

Or x/0 = no number, where x is any number.

Thus we can not divide a number by zero.

Now we go by a graph to see what happens to a continuous graph of 1/x as x  approaches zero from positive side and negative side.

If you consider f(x) = 1/x as continuous function, then look at the values of 1/x as we go towards zero from positive side. It goes on increasing positively without any bound.

Now consider f(x) = 1/x .The value of 1/x is negative when we x< 0. We notice that when x approaches zero from negative side , we see that the value of x becomes lager and larger negatively without any bound.

Plot the graph and see whether we can decide anything any particular for f(x) = 1/x when x= 0.  1/x remains undecided. The graph has the greatest jump or discontinuity at x = 0. The same principle holds for for  the value of any number/0 is undefined in mathematics.

chantl92's profile pic

chantl92 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

There is nothing left to divide

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