What is any number divided by 0? **Undefined**. What is 0 divided by 0? **Indeterminate**.

How are the two different? Here’s a math forum page informally and discreetly explaining “undefined” as something where the answer does not exist while “indeterminate” as something that “if it pops up somewhere, you don’t know what its value will be in your case.”

Either take that or go read what Prof. Arsham has to say about the ordeal that is division by zero. The article presents cultural, historical, mathematical and psychological perspectives on the number representing nothing. Aptly entitled the Zero Saga, he summarizes the whole point of going at length about the common misconceptions involving dividing by zero:

If one does allow oneself dividing by zero, then one ends up in a hell. That is all.

And he holds his case against others well, such as when he retorts the following when a reader writes of the fact that dividing 1 apple into 0 equal parts still yields an apple:

Have you really attempted in doing so? I am sure you failed, Right? So do not conclude anything.

And in quite the similar vein, someone asks:

If you interpret 20/5 =4 means that if you take 5 oranges from a total of 20 oranges in your fridge you can do it 4 times. Then if you take 0 oranges from 2 oranges (2/0) you can take it infinite number of times (that is, it does not end but surely exists/continues).

He then points out the absurdity of the operation in his response:

If you “take 0 oranges from 2 oranges”, it means 2-0=2. Repeating this operation again and again is nonsense. Once is enough, right? Otherwise eventually you get tired of counting this repetition, beyond that is infinity which you have never reached.

Prior to encountering the read, I never realized how much zero made things much more difficult for us with its introduction in the 13th century. Sure I still remember the additive inverse and difficult stuff stemming from consequences brought about by 0’s existence back in college. But it still took that piece touching lots of the higher math topics to have me pondering how much a seemingly insignificant number caused that much trouble in the number system.

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