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Name: Alf M.
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Question:
Square root of -1 was undefined, then someone said 'what if we just let square root of -1 be defined as i' and imaginary numbers were born.

The division of a real by zero is undefined. Has any work been done by 'what if we just let 1 divided by 0 be defined as x'?



Replies:
Alf,

Division by zero is often defined as infinity. Infinity divided by zero is infinity-squared. For signs to be defined correctly, you must have a +0 and a -0. This is often accomplished through the theory of limits. The limit of x as x approaches zero from the negative side is -0. The limit of x as x approached zero from the positive side is +0. Higer level mathematics uses the concept of infinity quite often.

Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Physics Instructor
Illinois Central College



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