Re: What is zero divided by zero?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg48598] Re: What is zero divided by zero?
- From: drbob at bigfoot.com (Bobby R. Treat)
- Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 05:33:22 -0400 (EDT)
- References: <4xm5ym42r3vg@legacy> <wzog6i63na4c@legacy> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com
Yes, and 0/0==Indeterminate in Mathematica, so I suspect the poster likely wasn't asking his question in the narrow sense you mean. Bobby "David W. Cantrell" <DWCantrell at sigmaxi.org> wrote in message news:<c9scmb$c0f$1 at smc.vnet.net>... > drbob at bigfoot.com (Bobby R. Treat) wrote: > > "zero divided by zero" is four English words, one after the other. The > > meaning of it is whatever we can agree that it means. But we can't > > agree on a useful meaning; it's not as if the subject hasn't come up a > > million times over the past century or two. It is, and will remain, > > undefined. > > Well, it is normally regarded as being undefined in mathematics _per se_, > yes. But it certainly is defined in some contexts related to computing. > > Examples: > In APL, it's 1 (which, IMO, is quite regrettable), > while in APL's offspring J, it's 0 (which is the only reasonable choice > among the reals). > And it's defined in standard floating-point arithmetic to be NaN. (Now > you're welcomed to say "But that's merely defining it to be 'undefined'!" > Although that's right in some sense, in fact it is nonetheless _defined as > a specific floating-point object_, and that can be useful.) > > David Cantrell