# Thread: Mod title: Is zero realy real?

1. IF you choose to say that zero is divisible by 5 (or any other number) then I am sure in your world that's true. In my world, to divide is to cut up, you cannot cut up what does not exist. Zero is NOT a number, it is a digit, just like infinity it cannot be divided or added to. Zero and infinity are mathematical niceties.

On another note it seems I have offended someone by calling them "smart ass", let me state here that this term is not to me an insult, it is more akin to saying "you may be clever but you have made an error" - smart in any sense cannot be an insult to a smart (intelligent) person. The opposite of smart ass is 'dumb ass' which is an insult. I therefore unreservedly apologise and withdraw the term 'smart ass' as it is clearly not appropriate in this case. 2.

3. Except that math doesn't work that way. Zero is a number (it's one less than one, or one more than negative one) and can be multiplied, added, and divided into, just not divided by. That does make it a special number, but it's still a number.

Also, when a mathematician says x is divisible by y they mean there exists some integer z such that z*y = x. Try applying this to 20 is divisible by 5, 19 is divisible by 5 and 0 is divisible by 5. (Hint, 0 is an integer.) 4. Well at 73 and after some 55 years as an Engineer and physicist it's worked fine for me, Now if what you say is correct then, and given any number divided by itself is 1, and you say zero is a number, thus 0 bananas divided by 0 bananas = 1 banana. congratulations You have missed the whole point of maths, ie to describe the physical world.

As I said for me 0 and infinity are niceties, they oil calculus, help balance some equations and are convenient to represent the absence of a quantity, they cannot be divided or added. I reckon you are merely passing on what your tutors in turn blindly learnt, learn to think outside the box, and one day you might just make a significant contribution to society. I don't mean that in any condescending way

AS a note and I am sure you are aware of this, both zero and the concept of negative numbers are fairly recent additions to the toolbox, prior to this counting existed for several thousand years without them.

did I say negative? - that's another one that was produced only to oil maths, it too does not exist in nature..... try it, put 7 apples on a plate and try and take 8 away, in your world it will leave -1 apples on the plate (send me a picture).

Well since you guys are playing the pure maths game, where mine has always been applied, I think we're both right just don't mention that J is the SQRT of -1....  5. Originally Posted by Megabrain
Well at 73 and after some 55 years as an Engineer and physicist it's worked fine for me, Now if what you say is correct then, and given any number divided by itself is 1, and you say zero is a number, thus 0 bananas divided by 0 bananas = 1 banana. congratulations You have missed the whole point of maths, ie to describe the physical world.

As I said for me 0 and infinity are niceties, they oil calculus, help balance some equations and are convenient to represent the absence of a quantity, they cannot be divided or added. I reckon you are merely passing on what your tutors in turn blindly learnt, learn to think outside the box, and one day you might just make a significant contribution to society. I don't mean that in any condescending way

AS a note and I am sure you are aware of this, both zero and the concept of negative numbers are fairly recent additions to the toolbox, prior to this counting existed for several thousand years without them.

did I say negative? - that's another one that was produced only to oil maths, it too does not exist in nature..... try it, put 7 apples on a plate and try and take 8 away, in your world it will leave -1 apples on the plate (send me a picture).

Well since you guys are playing the pure maths game, where mine has always been applied, I think we're both right just don't mention that J is the SQRT of -1.... You have a misconception. Zero is most certainly a number. It is an integer.

Both zero and various versions of infinity are quite a bit more than niceties. Without them, properly understood, modern mathematics, and the applications to which it is put, including engineering and physics would simply not work.

Now 5/5 is one, but 0/0 has no meaning whatever. But nevertheless 0 is most certainly a number. There is quite a bit more to mathematics (and engineering and physics) than jus the little bit that is intuitively ovbious and intuitively applicable to the physical world. The mathematics of abstract algebra is, for instance, at the base of modern public codes. Withouth those codes modern commerce would be severely hampered, yet it is not a physical thing that is being described. Rather it is an application of the difficulty of factoring large numbers into prime factors.

If you think that j is the square root of negative one, then I would have to guess that you are either an electrical engineer or that you have worked closely with some. It doesn't really matter what symbol you use for . j and i are both quite common. 6. Originally Posted by Megabrain
Well at 73 and after some 55 years as an Engineer and physicist it's worked fine for me, Now if what you say is correct then, and given any number divided by itself is 1, and you say zero is a number, thus 0 bananas divided by 0 bananas = 1 banana. congratulations You have missed the whole point of maths, ie to describe the physical world.

As I said for me 0 and infinity are niceties, they oil calculus, help balance some equations and are convenient to represent the absence of a quantity, they cannot be divided or added. I reckon you are merely passing on what your tutors in turn blindly learnt, learn to think outside the box, and one day you might just make a significant contribution to society. I don't mean that in any condescending way

AS a note and I am sure you are aware of this, both zero and the concept of negative numbers are fairly recent additions to the toolbox, prior to this counting existed for several thousand years without them.

did I say negative? - that's another one that was produced only to oil maths, it too does not exist in nature..... try it, put 7 apples on a plate and try and take 8 away, in your world it will leave -1 apples on the plate (send me a picture).

Well since you guys are playing the pure maths game, where mine has always been applied, I think we're both right just don't mention that J is the SQRT of -1.... Also, I'd like to point out that I specifically said that 0 is a special number, in that you can do anything with it you can with any other number except divide by it, which you do with your bananas. Again, try working out those three examples of divisibility I gave.

That, and negative numbers do exist in real life, in the form of debts. Having a debt of $55 is the same as having$-55. We don't use that notation mainly because it's awkward. If someone with $-55 was given$100, they'd have $45 after paying off their debt. Off topic a bit, but I've heard that imaginary numbers are physically meaningful in certain areas of electrical engineering. 7. Originally Posted by MagiMaster Having a debt of$55 is the same as having $-55. you simply cannot have a minus quantity, if you owe me$55 then in no way, in reality do I have -$55. you are infact only adding a direction to the$55 , if the course of a river reverse's it does not become a minus river it merely flows in the opposite (but still positive) direction. Maths is fundamentally flawed in this, and is full of 'botches' eg B*B = a*a thus b = A WRONG! (A=-5 b = +5) It's a botch job , no wonder we have to keep adding more botches to explain the universe.

Of course I have used the concept of negative numbers, many time, but I am not fooled by it, to me a negative voltage is infact a positive voltage flowing in the opposite direction, with the '-' sign used only for convenience, Imaginary numbers can equally (and in my humble opinion more accurately) be described in polar terms where the magnitide is always positive and the direction is expressed in degrees/radians.

I'm enjoying this one!

N.B If this is considered 'hijacking' perhaps the last few posts could be slpit off into a thread titled "Negative numbers, real or imaginary?" 8. Splitting the thread is a good idea. I have PMed the mod to split the last few posts of this thread and move them to Pseudoscience. 9. Originally Posted by JaneBennet
Splitting the thread is a good idea. I have PMed the mod to split the last few posts of this thread and move them to Pseudoscience.  10. Oh well, its been split anyway. 11. Originally Posted by Megabrain Originally Posted by MagiMaster
Having a debt of $55 is the same as having$-55.
you simply cannot have a minus quantity, if you owe me $55 then in no way, in reality do I have -$55. you are infact only adding a direction to the $55 , if the course of a river reverse's it does not become a minus river it merely flows in the opposite (but still positive) direction. Maths is fundamentally flawed in this, and is full of 'botches' eg B*B = a*a thus b = A WRONG! (A=-5 b = +5) It's a botch job , no wonder we have to keep adding more botches to explain the universe. Of course I have used the concept of negative numbers, many time, but I am not fooled by it, to me a negative voltage is infact a positive voltage flowing in the opposite direction, with the '-' sign used only for convenience, Imaginary numbers can equally (and in my humble opinion more accurately) be described in polar terms where the magnitide is always positive and the direction is expressed in degrees/radians. I'm enjoying this one! N.B If this is considered 'hijacking' perhaps the last few posts could be slpit off into a thread titled "Negative numbers, real or imaginary?" If I owe you$55, then I'm the one with $-55, since I'm the one in debt. Also, if a=-b, then yes, a*a = b*b, but that doesn't mean a=b. That's because . It's a multivalued function. In most practical cases, we ignore the negative result though. Just because you never learned this doesn't make it any less true. 12. Originally Posted by DrRocket Originally Posted by Megabrain Well at 73 and after some 55 years as an Engineer and physicist it's worked fine for me, Now if what you say is correct then, and given any number divided by itself is 1, and you say zero is a number, thus 0 bananas divided by 0 bananas = 1 banana. congratulations You have missed the whole point of maths, ie to describe the physical world. As I said for me 0 and infinity are niceties, they oil calculus, help balance some equations and are convenient to represent the absence of a quantity, they cannot be divided or added. I reckon you are merely passing on what your tutors in turn blindly learnt, learn to think outside the box, and one day you might just make a significant contribution to society. I don't mean that in any condescending way AS a note and I am sure you are aware of this, both zero and the concept of negative numbers are fairly recent additions to the toolbox, prior to this counting existed for several thousand years without them. did I say negative? - that's another one that was produced only to oil maths, it too does not exist in nature..... try it, put 7 apples on a plate and try and take 8 away, in your world it will leave -1 apples on the plate (send me a picture). Well since you guys are playing the pure maths game, where mine has always been applied, I think we're both right just don't mention that J is the SQRT of -1.... You have a misconception. Zero is most certainly a number. It is an integer. Both zero and various versions of infinity are quite a bit more than niceties. Without them, properly understood, modern mathematics, and the applications to which it is put, including engineering and physics would simply not work. Now 5/5 is one, but 0/0 has no meaning whatever. But nevertheless 0 is most certainly a number. There is quite a bit more to mathematics (and engineering and physics) than jus the little bit that is intuitively ovbious and intuitively applicable to the physical world. The mathematics of abstract algebra is, for instance, at the base of modern public codes. Withouth those codes modern commerce would be severely hampered, yet it is not a physical thing that is being described. Rather it is an application of the difficulty of factoring large numbers into prime factors. If you think that j is the square root of negative one, then I would have to guess that you are either an electrical engineer or that you have worked closely with some. It doesn't really matter what symbol you use for . j and i are both quite common. But isn't j best described as the square root of +1? 13. Originally Posted by Manynames But isn't j best described as the square root of +1? No. Using the many-valued square root, , while . 14. Originally Posted by MagiMaster Except that math doesn't work that way. Zero is a number (it's one less than one, or one more than negative one) and can be multiplied, added, and divided into, just not divided by. That does make it a special number, but it's still a number. Also, when a mathematician says x is divisible by y they mean there exists some integer z such that z*y = x. Try applying this to 20 is divisible by 5, 19 is divisible by 5 and 0 is divisible by 5. (Hint, 0 is an integer.) Zero, is not one more then negative one. Negative one is one less then zero. Bankers might see it your way in their favor. I can pay back someone at a rate of one more, then two dollars a day, three dollars a day. I cannot however pay back someone one more zero then two zero's and pay him back anything. Zero is not a value. If you look at one, it is the sum of all divisions from zero to one. Just as minus one is the sum of all divisions between zero and minus one. Zero is just nothing. It is not the sum or deficit of anything. If you look at just about any instrument, you will see that when it reads zero, there is no flow, no pressure, no presence of what the device measures. It is not an amount. It is a state or statement, of no amount. Sincerely, William McCormick 15. Look. If you have$1 and I take away $1, how many dollars do you have? If your net worth is$-1 and someone gives you $1, what is your net worth? If I have 0 pies and I want to divide them evenly among 5 people, how much pie does each person get. William, you're just playing word games. The definition of the integers starts with 0 is an integer. 16. Here are a few definitions of old. Basically the definitions that built what we have today. If you look at the very definition of these words. You might see that in some context zero could not fit into the definition. Zero does not form a fraction. It can form and represent a real ratio though.     Zero does not strike me as an entire thing. Or a whole unit. Like one or two or three does. Or even minus one or minus two or minus three does. It is a digit, in the Arabic system we use today, it is a numeral, it is an intrinsic part of the numeration system. But it does not seem like a whole number by definition to me. I noted that zero does not form ratios that we are used to. Especially if the ratios are to be used in mathematical formulas. Zero's in ratios often need to be tried out in real life to see the effect. Later definitions of integer do include zero. Sincerely, William McCormick 17. Originally Posted by MagiMaster Look. If you have$1 and I take away $1, how many dollars do you have? If your net worth is$-1 and someone gives you $1, what is your net worth? If I have 0 pies and I want to divide them evenly among 5 people, how much pie does each person get. William, you're just playing word games. The definition of the integers starts with 0 is an integer. I totally understand what you are saying. But in honest answer to your first and second question. I have no dollars. None. I have no amount of money. I have no money to count. I have no unit of money to spend or give. The digit zero in this case, would not represent how much money I have. Rather that, I have no money. With any other real value as the answer I could not say that. It is more then a word game. It is a real and basic understanding, and a want to keep things straight. Zero is not a value. It is a statement of no value. Infinite nothing. The Arabic system did not use zero as none, if I am not mistaken. They used it to represent ten. Or a whole set of fingers and thumbs. In more complex numeration systems zero also meant none. Sincerely, William McCormick 18. Are there no forums, Lets say zero forums , Immune from your BS? 19. Originally Posted by MagiMaster Originally Posted by Manynames But isn't j best described as the square root of +1? No. Using the many-valued square root, , while . Ahem! I knew i wasn't going crazy! In wiki's entry for the history part: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginary_number ''but then one also finds other imaginary numbers such as the j of tessarines which has a square of +1. This idea first surfaced with the articles by James Cockle beginning in 1848.'' 20. I challenge anybody to show me a negative quantity in nature, if a dollar debt is the best you can come up with (which is definitely NOT a natural occurrence) then as far as I'm concerned you have not won the debate. I accept your right to disagree I accept that at the end of the day one (or both) of us may be wrong. Thanks for the debate until a few posts ago it was great. Now I am leaving this forum in protest that yet another thread has been contaminated with a tirade of unadulterated rubbish. 21. @William, exactly. Therefore$0 means exactly that you have no money. Beyond that, it really is just word games. Again, the mathematical definition of numbers begins with 0 is a number. Look it up.

@Manynames, that's fine and all, but the j you're using isn't the same j from the tessarines. It's just the engineers' name for i from the complex numbers (since engineers use i for other things).

@Megabrain, can you at least make your objection a little clearer. Which rubbish are you talking about? As for a natural use of negatives, how about measuring something above and below ground? It's easiest to do if you consider below ground to be negative height. Also, how about when considering changes. Consider the effects of the rate of change on a population of animals. Now, can you explain how you'd describe that without resorting to negatives? Dollar debt is just something most people have an intuitive grasp of. 22. "The time has come, the Walrus said..........." 