Dividing by Zero

I know what everyone will say, “You can’t divide by zero. It becomes an undefined number blah blah blah.” I’ve already heard this so try to refrain from mentioning it. This is my opinion. Math is here to serve real life problems. It’s only purpose is to solve problems. So it will work best in a real life situation. Time for my favorite part, analogy time. Imagine you have one whole pizza or one large singular piece of pizza. Now imagine cutting or dividing it zero times. How many pieces of pizza are left. Clearly it’s not an undefined number of pizza pieces. It’s obviously one piece of pizza. There you go a real life example of dividing by zero. Since math is made to solve our real life problems it must conform to the basic laws of life.

This time I’m going to add a little extra note to remind people to stay calm and not to write anything on an impulse.

Two things to preface.

  1. I think you’re overthinking this.

  2. overthinking is my specialty.

The question is, how do you dived something 0 times?

In the example you gave, you’re not dividing the pizza in the first place. You’re leaving it alone.

But if you divide by zero, you are required to cut the pizza, you can’t NOT cut the pizza, but to divide by zero, you CAN’T cut the pizza, and then you have a paradox. There is no answer, hence why it’s undefined.


Interesting, but here’s where your analogy falls apart: cutting the pizza x amount of times isn’t the same as dividing it x amount of times. If you make one cut with a pizza (assuming that a “cut” is a single clean stroke from one end of the pizza to the other, as is standard for pizzas) you don’t end up with a single piece of pizza, you end up with two pieces of pizza. A single cut yields two pieces; cutting once is dividing the pizza in two. So cutting the pizza no times isn’t the same as dividing the pizza by zero, it’s dividing the pizza by one. You divide one thing into one piece, and you still end up with one piece. Dividing the pizza by zero is, well… it’s not something that we have a physical concept for. That’s what it means for dividing by zero to be “undefined”; it isn’t something that makes sense on a conceptual or rational level (and that’s even for people that came up with what to do when taking the square root of an imaginary number).


More or less what I said but with a better analogy.

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“Imagine that you have zero cookies, and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies. And you are sad that you have no friends.” As said by Siri


I got, as they say, “Kapura’d”. :stuck_out_tongue:

I wrote my post before yours but posted it after, if you aren’t familiar with the term

If you also divide one pizza by zero, the question makes no sense. How many slices of no pizza can fit inside a slice of pizza? I’d be hard pressed to find and answer to that.

You absolutely can. You said it yourself

All you have to do to not cut the pizza is have the thought of cutting it. As long as you think about cutting it but decided not to you have not cut the pizza

Yes it is. If you divide the pizza four times you will end up with one fourth of the pizza. Which is the same as dividing by four. If you divide the pizza zero times you will have your whole 100% pizza.

So this is just not correct. To end up with no pizza you would have to multiply it by zero or have zero pizzas put together. Dividing the pizza is much different from what you have said.

But when dividing the pizza into 4 you have to cut it a minimum of two times. Thus what he said is true. Cutting the pizza =/= dividing the pizza.

If you divide your pizza into 1 group or section you have the whole pizza. If you divide 1 pizza into 0 groups what do you have? No idea? Me neither.


You would have the pizza in its original form and original group. Dividing is an action so to divide a pizza into another group it must be moved. Even if you just move the whole pizza from one group to another it’s still changing into a new group. Dividing the pizza into zero groups means that it stays as is.

Ok I’ve actually studied into maths paradoxes and I take calculus. The reason you can’t divide by zero is because you’re effectively multiplying by infinity, so in this pizza analogy, you cutting the pizza results in the creation of infinite pizza.


Really, to figure out what is the result of 1/0 you must first find out how many 0s fit in 1.
Wouldn’t the answer be ∞?


Basically 1/0 = ∞x1


Wouldn’t ∞x2 also =∞?

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Yes, I explained it poorly, let’s use algebra!

x/0 = x∞ = ∞


No, it would be infinity X 2. Infinity is an odd quantity, you can’t multiply by it., it can be factored out, but it can’t be simplified. So you would leave it the way it is.

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Isn’t one ∞ and another ∞ still ∞?


Not quite. It’s the value of infinity plus the value of Infinity. Obviously that can’t be written, but it does have a factor of 2. Which is why we leave it as 2 x infinity. There can also be positive and negative infinity, which factors into, -1 X infinity.

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Nah, Vladin’s right here. Infinity isn’t a number, it’s a… concept, or something? Someone more versed in math could explain it better. But basically it doesn’t matter what operation you perform on infinity - squaring it, multiplying by two, adding a large number to it - you still have infinity.


no, you don’t.

Infinity is a value. It’s a value that is infinitely large, and infintely small. It’s a value that can’t be written or shown. It’s treated similar to pi and e. Operations can be done to it, but the actuall value can’t be determined. The difference between those 2 examples and infinity is that we can get away with just the first few numbers, but with infinity that’s not possible. Variables are treated similarly. It’s a quantity that (in most cases) is known to have a value, but we don’t know what it is. Obviously, we can discover the value of variables, which we can’t really do with infinity. Infinty essential exists in a sort of limbo, as a number with an undetermined value, that can’t be discovered with neither paper or computer.

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