Is Dividing by zero really Impossible – Yes

I’ll let you know up front that I’m not a mathematician. When I was in school I probably generated a half ton or more of eraser shavings from redoing botched math problems and there was more than one occasion where I stared in blank incomprehension at a page of algebraic equations, wondering about the sanity of mathematicians in general. I sweated and cursed through advanced mathematics and statistics when I went to college and metaphorically fell on my knees in thankfulness on the day I’d finished all the required math courses. That being said, there are a few things I know with certainty about math.. I know them with certainty if only because they were drilled into my head over and over and over again by several different teachers. One of these things is that it is friggin’ impossible to divide by zero.

Zero is a number that represents nothing. A blank. A void. We humans have a hard time visualizing what nothing looks like. Imagine a space….er… no, not a space…maybe a patch or a blob. And in this blob there is…wait a minute…is this a three-dimensional space or just a flat surface? What about texture? There can’t be any of those things because this is nothing, right? So how can we divide anything by something which is itself undefinable? There are those who argue that nothing is still something. This could be true but until we can set some parameters for what constitutes nothing then this theory is just theoretical thinking with no practical value. Smarter minds than mine can try to define the Undefinable. Theoretical physics is beyond me.

But just to have a little fun, I’m going to pretend for a moment that I am a freakin’ fantastic theoretical physicist. Let’s say that I have found a way to divide something by nothing. And the answer I get is…everything! Since the universe is full of nothing, then dividing something by nothing will give you everything that exists, has existed, or ever will exist in the universe. it’s like adding a spoonful of salt to the ocean. The salt and water will mix until they become inseparable, at least not unless you happen to come across a really big strainer.

My logic is crazy logic, with Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and a little Buddhism on the side. But I stand by what I said earlier, that it is impossible to divide anything by zero, unless your goal is to merge with the universe. I may become a theoretical physicist yet.