###### Asked in Math and ArithmeticAlgebraNumbers

# What happens when you divide by zero?

## Answer

###### Wiki User

###### August 08, 2011 5:52PM

Without having any desire to begin an argument, you can't.
Division by zero is **undefined** by mathematicians. Any
division operation with zero as the divisor presents a stop! sign
to the mathematician; it is an operation that cannot be executed.
It's one of those you-can't-get-there-from-here things. How many
times does zero divide into ten? How many times do you have to
multiply zero by to get ten? You can't do that. You can't get there
from here. The operation is undefined.

One of the burdens of asking a question is having to accept the
answer. That does not mean that you cannot *change* things,
but with this one, it cannot be done from the perspective of
current mathematical thinking. If it is not possible for the
questioner to accept this answer, some investigation and
experimentation might be in order. But it is improbable that
another answer will appear.

The reason that division by zero cannot be performed is that
forbidding the operation provides closure to mathematics. If
division by zero could be performed, then it could be proved that
any unique number equals any other unique number. We know that six
does *not* equal nine, but it can be mathematically proved
that it is true if division by zero is possible.