difference between 'infinty' and 'not defined'?

Asked by  | 6th Oct, 2008, 07:18: PM

Expert Answer:

Here's a little experiment for you to try on your calculator.
1/1
       1/.1
       1/.01
       1/.001
       1/.0001
       1/.00001
       etc...
until your calculator can't go any further
. You should notice that the answers continue getting larger and larger.

Another way of thinking of it is to imagine filling a box with apples. Say a box can hold 100 apples. Now try filling it with apples that are half the size of these apples. You can put 200 in the box. Now imagine a  magic apple that takes up no room at all. How many can you put in the box?

Well, the answer is... there is no answer! That is why mathematicians refer to numbers that are divided by 0 as "undefined." Some people tend to think of them as being infinite, but this isn't exactly true. There simply is no answer.

 

Answered by  | 6th Oct, 2008, 07:45: PM

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