Monday, July 02, 2012

Why is a zero not a number?

Why is a zero not a number? Let us conduct a scientific experiment. We will take any number and will execute the simplest mathematical action - addition or deduction.

Simply so to execute a mathematical action will not turn out. One number and one sign of mathematical action are simply two mathematical symbols, standing alongside. Single character designates a number, the second symbol designates an action.

7 +
7 –

In order that an action happened, it is needed yet something. Only then we will get a result. And this result depends on that we take exactly. If we will take other any number, then the first number will change. The result of this change we write down after equal sign.

7 + 2 = 9
7 – 2 = 5

number + number = result
number - number = result

And that will be, if we will take a not number? For example, will we add salt, will add a paint, will decrease a temperature? That will be with a number, if to salt him? Nothing. A number will remain unchanging.

7 + salt = 7

Now we will try to paint a number.

7 + paint = 7

A number did not change again. But as regarding that, to push in our number in a refrigerator and lower his temperature?

7 - temperature = 7

Why does take place so? Because salt, paint, temperature numbers it is not been. A number and not number inter se do not co-operate. If to take them and make an effort with them to do anything, for us nothing will turn out. What number we took at the beginning, the same we get in the end.

number + not number = number and not number
number - not number = number and not number

Mathematicians and philosophers will argue that a number is an abstract concept that does not exist in the wild, and salt, paint, temperature, is the real things. Exactly from a difference abstract and real nothing takes place. The abstract can not influence on the real, real can not influence on abstract. What, I fully agree with the conclusions of mathematicians and philosophers. They are absolutely right - for a change real the real is needed, for a change abstract the abstract is needed.

In the second part of our experiment we will try to the abstract number to add anything abstract. Well, for example, soul. In hands this thing nobody held, she is not fixed scientific devices. The soul is this cleanly abstract concept. We will look at a result.

7 + the soul = 7
7 - the soul = 7

As see, even many abstract concepts are not able to run the number, because not all abstract concepts are numbers.

Here time to conduct an experiment with a zero, the same abstract concept, as well as number came now. We will add and will take away a zero from a number and will look at a result.

7 + 0 = 7
7 – 0 = 7

As a result of addition or deduction of zero a number remains unchanging. And takes place so because zero, as well as all other not numbers, a number is not. A zero does not possess all those properties that is possessed by numbers.

For plenitude of the conducted experiment it is needed to consider the mathematical operations of increase and division. Multiplying and dividing by a zero in mathematics has a result different from the originally taken number. But let us remember history of development of mathematics.

Addition and deduction appeared at first, an increase and division appeared then. Probably, somewhere a zero appeared after it. There was it in those times, when a faith in God was basis of existence of man. About no results of experiments there could not be speech, if these results conflicted with a faith. Here on this faith and the results of increase and dividing are founded by a zero. Someone said that a zero was a number and in it believed. Someone offered the result of multiplying by a zero - believed in a result. In him we are pin faiths until now: any number increased on a zero equals a zero.

With dividing by a zero there were problems. Nobody was able to offer nothing clever, such, that all believed in it. Mathematical experiments with the results of dividing by a zero give contradictory results and trench upon bases of mathematics. A compromise variant was therefore found is a phrase, "dividing by a zero is impossible". It did not mix to believe that a zero is a number, and did not result in the necessity of revision of other substantive provisions of mathematics. Absence of result of division of number on a zero confirms circumstance that in this case we deal with a not number.


More interesting things on the page "New Math".

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