Is zero really a number?

Images are sometimes not shown due to bandwidth/network issues. Refreshing the page usually helps.

You are currently reading a thread in /sci/ - Science & Math

You are currently reading a thread in /sci/ - Science & Math

Thread images: 2

Anonymous

Is zero really a number? 2015-11-10 01:19:36 Post No. 7649708

[Report] Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]

Is zero really a number? 2015-11-10 01:19:36 Post No. 7649708

[Report] Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]

for a long time my teachers have hammered into my brain that

infinity is not a number, it's just a concept. Now that I understand

that, I wonder if zero is just a concept too? I guess this is both a

philosophical and a mathematical question.

Philosophically, you can't really have a zero of things, because the

thing which is zero doesn't really exist. In fact, if you do count

things that don't really exist, you will have an infinite number of

those things since there is no limit to things that you can imagine

existing (which is rather an interesting fact).

In mathematics, many definitions and rules go haywire when they try

to deal with zero (such as 0^0, 1/0, 0/0). The two most used bounds

for evaluating the limit of a function are in fact 0 and infinity.

So it seems obvious that there is a deep intricate relation between

zero and infinity. And like infinity, it seems that zero should just

be considered a concept. Furthermore, by making zero a concept we

would be able to avoid writing those exceptions to rules where we have

to specify that the equation is true as long as something is not zero.

I just thought of few more examples:

1) If in a game, your opponent has 1 point and you have two points

then you can say that you have twice as many points as him. Whereas

if your opponent has zero points and you have two points, you would

technically have to say that you have infinite times as many points

as him.

2) You can't really have a circle with radius zero.

3) Zero is neither positive nor negative and neither it is even or odd.

>>

Philosophically, almost anything is a concept. The difference in the concrete case is semantics. What your teacher meant is that infinity is not a number in the sense that is not an element of the set of reals (technical math babble); if you draw a number line, you can never reach infinity, but any finite number can in theory be reached (even stupendously large ones). In this sense zero is a number and infinity is not.

While you are right that zero and infinity are very much related, your wording does not make a lot of sense. "By making zero a concept" has no meaning in the mathematical sense, nor does it in the philosophical one.

Your examples:

1) That's ratio's for you.

2) You can, since technically, a circle is defined to be the set of points that have a distance equal to the radius from a certain center point. If this distance is zero, then this set reduces to the set with just the center point in it. (Aka, a point.)

3) I'm not sure what you're aiming at with this one. Besides that zero is quite definitely even.

>>

>he thinks math isn't a concept

>>

>>7649720

>>7649723

Please do not reply to the spam bot. It crawls for various shitty threads and reposts them by random in order to lower the quality of this board.

http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/68357.html

>>

>>7649728

lol I'm not a spam bot.

OP here. I just happened to have this thought about zero, did a quick google search, and pasted the first interesting question I found related to it onto this board.

The reason why I did it is simple. I wanted to see what you guys would say.

Please continue.

>>

>>7649730

>lol I'm not a spam bot.

yeah that's what a spambot would say, typical just typical

>>

>>7649730

So if you think zero isn't a number, then what about irrational numbers? They don't really exist either. Nor do imaginary numbers. In fact, even the basic numbers do not exist. 3 is not real. You may counter "but I can have 3 of an object!" However, what you really have is 1 group of objects which you arbitrarily ascribed an abstract concept onto.

>>

>>7649748

Nigga I'm not here to actually debate whether or not zero is a number. I literally drank a few beers, had a thought in my head, and pasted someone else's words onto 4chan to see what y'all would say. It's all just for fun here. I'm not really trying to prove a point.

>>

>>7649708

Zero has many properties that numbers have. It has a parity, for example

>>

>>7649748

Stop replying to the spambot

Thread images: 2

Thread DB ID: 76963

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.

This is a 4chan archive - all of the content originated from them. If you need IP information for a Poster - you need to contact them. This website shows only archived content.

If a post contains personal/copyrighted/illegal content you can contact me at wtabusse@gmail.com with that post and thread number and it will be removed as soon as possible.