Math and Arithmetic

Why is it that when you divide real numbers by zero the answer is undefined?

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2007-08-28 20:23:53

When a positive number is divided by a number less than 1, the

result is a number greater than the first number. Using

expressions, b/a > b if a < 1. As the value of 'a' approaches

zero, the result of the division grows bigger and bigger. When 'a'

reaches zero, b/a becomes a very large number, which is called

infinity. In calculators, the result of the division becomes

undefined because the number is beyond the range of numbers the

calculator can display. There are some calculators that can handle

infinity explicitly in calculations.

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