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Author Topic: Can you divide by zero?  (Read 2308 times)
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« on: December 07, 2006, 01:44:40 PM »

1200-year-old problem 'easy'

Schoolchildren in Caversham have become the first in the country to learn about a new number - 'nullity' - which solves maths problems neither Newton nor Pythagoras could conquer.
 
Dr James Anderson, from the University of Reading's computer science department, says his new theorem solves an extremely important problem - the problem of nothing.
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Zarkon
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2006, 01:57:55 PM »

That makes absolutely no sense.
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Crux
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 02:00:28 PM »

Quote from: Zarkon on December 07, 2006, 01:57:55 PM

That makes absolutely no sense.

Here, let me divide that by zero for you. Now we have nullity!   eek

Anyways, that guy is a moron. It doesn't 'solve' math problems neither Newton nor Pythagoras could conquer. It just pretends the problems don't exist.
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ROTC1983
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 02:01:46 PM »

Quote from: Crux on December 07, 2006, 02:00:28 PM

Quote from: Zarkon on December 07, 2006, 01:57:55 PM

That makes absolutely no sense.

Here, let me divide that by zero for you. Now we have nullity!   eek

Anyways, that guy is a moron. It doesn't 'solve' math problems neither Newton nor Pythagoras could conquer. It just pretends the problems don't exist.

Yeah, that is the way I understood it.
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wonderpug
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hmm...


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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 02:03:13 PM »

Isn't this the same thing as finding the null space of a matrix?
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2006, 02:15:03 PM »

The comments section of the article is cool.

I can't decide if the guy is a kook or a genius.   icon_lol
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2006, 02:26:29 PM »

My favorite part?

Quote
The theory of nullity is set to make all kinds of sums possible that, previously, scientists and computers couldn't work around.

"We've just solved a problem that hasn't been solved for twelve hundred years - and it's that easy," proclaims Dr Anderson

They had computers 1200 years ago?
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hmm...


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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2006, 02:31:14 PM »

NEW AMAZING BREAKTHROUGH IN MATHEMATICS

I've discovered the last number of pi!

It's called "jimmajamma."
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2006, 02:39:40 PM »

Oh man. It gets better. This from the comments section!

Quote
Chuck Norris
I'm sorry people, but I'm the only one who can divide things into no groups. Many people could chop you in half, which is dividing you by 2. I once met a man who could chop you in half at the waist while simultaneously chopping you in half vertically. He divided you by 4. I've known some (few) ninja who could attack you, over time, such that the limit of the ninja's dividing power as ninja approaches you approached infinity. I don't wish to sound like I am arrogant, but have you ever met a ninja who could divide you into zero parts? I'm sorry, but the only other being capable of that, other than me, is God so I'm not going to let some professor think he can break the laws of physics.
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2006, 02:48:45 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on December 07, 2006, 02:31:14 PM

NEW AMAZING BREAKTHROUGH IN MATHEMATICS

I've discovered the last number of pi!

It's called "jimmajamma."

You are teh winnar... retard Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2006, 03:19:08 PM »

Quote from: Crux on December 07, 2006, 02:39:40 PM

Oh man. It gets better. This from the comments section!

Quote
Chuck Norris
I'm sorry people, but I'm the only one who can divide things into no groups. Many people could chop you in half, which is dividing you by 2. I once met a man who could chop you in half at the waist while simultaneously chopping you in half vertically. He divided you by 4. I've known some (few) ninja who could attack you, over time, such that the limit of the ninja's dividing power as ninja approaches you approached infinity. I don't wish to sound like I am arrogant, but have you ever met a ninja who could divide you into zero parts? I'm sorry, but the only other being capable of that, other than me, is God so I'm not going to let some professor think he can break the laws of physics.

That's awesome. icon_lol
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2006, 04:25:51 PM »

I haven't really grasped what he is trying to say, but only looking at something for five minutes is usually like that.

Anyway, he stated it was a bit like i, the square root of -1.  That was another mathematical issue for a long time, but doesn't the math of i have a lot of practical application with electrical engineering and other similar areas?
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2006, 04:31:28 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on December 07, 2006, 02:31:14 PM

NEW AMAZING BREAKTHROUGH IN MATHEMATICS

I've discovered the last number of pi!

It's called "jimmajamma."

Mr. T ain't got no time for jimmajamma foo'!
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2006, 04:36:18 PM »

« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 04:38:44 PM by Luminescent Pubes » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2006, 04:56:31 PM »

LOL, that pic rocks.
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2006, 05:01:27 PM »

I am >> the article to /dev/null
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2006, 07:11:24 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on December 07, 2006, 04:25:51 PM

I haven't really grasped what he is trying to say, but only looking at something for five minutes is usually like that.

Anyway, he stated it was a bit like i, the square root of -1.  That was another mathematical issue for a long time, but doesn't the math of i have a lot of practical application with electrical engineering and other similar areas?

What he's done is basically the equivalent of saying:
I have invented a symbol for the square root of -1. Henceforth it shall be called Thumagadon.

Ie, he hasn't actually done anything of note. For some retarded reason he just thinks he has.
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2006, 07:14:41 PM »

Quote
Isn't this the same thing as finding the null space of a matrix?

nope
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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2006, 08:26:32 PM »

Nullity is a perfectly cromulent number.
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2006, 08:48:24 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on December 07, 2006, 04:31:28 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on December 07, 2006, 02:31:14 PM

NEW AMAZING BREAKTHROUGH IN MATHEMATICS

I've discovered the last number of pi!

It's called "jimmajamma."

Mr. T ain't got no time for jimmajamma foo'!

I was gonna say, that Mr. T actually discovered it about 23 years ago: JibbaJabba.
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2006, 08:50:45 PM »

Wait,

you mean 0/0 <> 1 ?

I thought that's how god created everything. He/She/It/They/No-One/My-BellyButton-Lint/DukeNukem took 0 and divided it infinitely and got a boatload of 1's.
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2006, 09:09:20 PM »

Quote from: ATB on December 07, 2006, 08:48:24 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on December 07, 2006, 04:31:28 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on December 07, 2006, 02:31:14 PM

NEW AMAZING BREAKTHROUGH IN MATHEMATICS

I've discovered the last number of pi!

It's called "jimmajamma."

Mr. T ain't got no time for jimmajamma foo'!

I was gonna say, that Mr. T actually discovered it about 23 years ago: JibbaJabba.

jibbajabba is 0/0, jimmajamma is the inverse

and just like the sequence for i goes i, -1, -i, 1

the sequence for jimmajamma goes jimmajamma, -tuttifrutti, -jibbajabba, 42
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2006, 09:34:50 PM »

I think we all saw the eventuality of 42 coming up in this thread.  :icon_sad:
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2006, 10:05:18 PM »

What I think he is saying is 0/0=1.

Therefore, perpetual motion is possible.
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2006, 10:18:58 PM »

Quote from: some british wanker
If your heart pacemaker divides by zero, you're dead.

We treated seven patients for that last week.  Roll Eyes

Quote from: some dumbass reporter
Computers simply cannot divide by zero. Try it on your calculator and you'll get an error message.

And they still won't be able to. Dude didn't win teh mathematics. He just asked every coder in the world to write an "if Denominator = 0 then DisplayGreenLanternLogo" statement.
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2006, 12:06:51 AM »

Quote from: Luminescent Pubes on December 07, 2006, 04:36:18 PM

AWESOME PICTURE

Three things:

1) Luminescent Pubes is the best username ever.
2) That cat picture is absolutely awesome.
3) What the hell happened in that picture?  How does something like that happen in real life?
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« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2006, 02:37:23 AM »

Quote from: CrayolaSmoker on December 07, 2006, 10:18:58 PM

Quote from: some dumbass reporter
Computers simply cannot divide by zero. Try it on your calculator and you'll get an error message.

And they still won't be able to. Dude didn't win teh mathematics. He just asked every coder in the world to write an "if Denominator = 0 then DisplayGreenLanternLogo" statement.

Exactly.
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« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2006, 04:11:43 AM »

Computers can now do computations involving the square root of -1.  I can see his point, however: since our current mathematics model doesn't handle it, things will need to be adjusted to compensate.

I'm just curious about his "teaching" this method to school children.  Is this mathematical method accepted by mathematicians?

[edit] hopefully someone here can make heads or tails out of this.  I'm not even going to try right now.

[edit2] ok, I did try it now.  And the guy sounds both right and wrong: right on the math, wrong on the "computers can't do it" thing...

Quote
Division by zero in computer arithmetic

The IEEE floating-point standard, supported by almost all modern processors, specifies that every floating point arithmetic operation, including division by zero, has a well-defined result. In IEEE 754 arithmetic,  is positive infinity when a is positive, negative infinity when a is negative, and NaN (not a number) when a = 0. The infinity signs change when dividing by −0 instead. This is possible because in IEEE 754 there are two zero values, plus zero and minus zero, and thus no ambiguity.

So it sounds like the IEEE arrived at his answer before he did.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2006, 04:23:09 AM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2006, 06:43:52 AM »

1=1
x=1
y=1
x=y
x2=xy
x2 - y2 = xy - y2
(x+y)(x-y)=y(x-y)
((x+y)(x-y))/(x-y) = (y(x-y))/(x-y)
(x+y)=y
(1+1)=1
2=1

Leave Zero alone  icon_twisted
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« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2006, 01:45:43 PM »

Quote from: Zero on December 08, 2006, 06:43:52 AM

1=1
x=1
y=1
x=y
x2=xy
x2 - y2 = xy - y2
(x+y)(x-y)=y(x-y)
((x+y)(x-y))/(x-y) = (y(x-y))/(x-y)
(x+y)=y
(1+1)=1
2=1

Leave Zero alone  icon_twisted
Irony alert!  Fourth equation from the bottom!
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« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2006, 03:39:08 PM »

Quote from: CrayolaSmoker on December 07, 2006, 10:18:58 PM

Quote from: some british wanker
If your heart pacemaker divides by zero, you're dead.

We treated seven patients for that last week.  Roll Eyes

Quote from: some dumbass reporter
Computers simply cannot divide by zero. Try it on your calculator and you'll get an error message.

And they still won't be able to. Dude didn't win teh mathematics. He just asked every coder in the world to write an "if Denominator = 0 then DisplayGreenLanternLogo" statement.

Well put. To summarize, I think the guy has been smoking crayolas!
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« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2006, 09:02:31 PM »

Basically take the word "Error" and replace it with the word "Nullity."
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« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2006, 06:36:12 AM »

Hmm....coincidence?  I think not.


« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 06:40:13 AM by EddieA » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2006, 10:25:26 PM »

This self-proclaimed mathematical savior hasn't told me anything I haven't already learned while working for a corporation.
Quote
Postulate 1: Knowledge = Power (Knowledge is Power)
Postulate 2: Time = Money (Time is Money)
Postulate 3: Power = Work/Time (As every Physics student knows)

Proof therefore follows:

Knowledge = Power (From Postulate 1)
Knowledge = Work / Time (From Postulate 3)

and since Time = Money,
we have: Knowledge = Work / Money (From Postulate 2)

Solving for Money, we get:

Knowledge x Money = (Work / Money) x Money
Money = Work / Knowledge

Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, Money approaches infinity, regardless of the amount of Work done.

Conclusion: The Less you Know, the More you Make.
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« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2006, 11:08:36 PM »

I think the trick is to look knowledgeable on paper, without actually being so.

There is no shortage of unknowledgeable and ignorant people in the world.  The difference is that not all of them went to Yale (or wherever) and wear tailored suits.
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