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Math K-Plus

Number Zero

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What Makes Number Zero Unique


Integer Number 0

The number Zero is very different from all other numbers; Zero is a Whole Number but not a Natural Number.

If we say 1 Peach, we think of Peach is used to visualize number positions.. If we say 2 Peaches, we think of Peach is used to visualize number positions. Peach is used to visualize number positions.. But if we say 0 Peaches, we picture no Peaches. So why do we have the number zero? Zero is a place holder. See examples below (hint: notice "leading zero(s)" on the left side of a number are dropped because they do not have any meaning).


Examples Of Zero
Number Comments Same Number
0 The value of zero is zero, so there is no change. 0
1 There are no leading zero(s), so there is no change. 1
01 The leading zero in this case does not mean anything. 1
1204 There are no leading zero(s) so the value does not change. 1204
0001204 This case looks difficult, but use the same rule. Remove the leading zeros. 1204

There is one more very important subject about zero to talk about. No number can not be divided by zero; this statement or rule is always true. A important statement but why is it true? Let's answer it by example.

Assume we have ten cookies and five people at a table. We give each person an even number of cookies; 10 cookies divided by five people means each person gets two cookies. Perfect, everyone gets an even number of cookies.

Let's do another example. Assume we have ten cookies and one person at a table. Again the one person at the table must get an even number of cookies; 10 cookies divided 1 person means the one person at the table gets all ten cookies. So far so good.

Alright, one last example. Now let's divide the ten cookies evenly among zero people at the table. There is no way to evenly distribute 10 cookies to nobody. In the study of math, a set of 10 cookies cannot be divided into 0 people. So 10 / 0, at least in arithmetic, is said to be either meaningless, or undefined. Any number divided by zero is undefined!

Recommended reading: Number One and Number Two.