# The Real Reason You Can’t Divide by Zero

I am not a mathematician, nor am I any kind of genius, but I'm smart enough to know that smart people sometimes think too much and make things more complicated than they really are. For example, take the problem of dividing by *zero*. As the following video will demonstrate, attempts to divide by 0 only end in confusion.

Makes sense, right? Well, yes, but only if you treat 0 as a real number. But 0 (by itself) is not a real number. It's just a mathematical term for *nothing*. In other words, 0, like *cold* and *dark*, doesn't really exist. Just as *cold* and *dark* signify the absence of heat and light, 0 signifies the absence of whatever would exist if 0 was replaced by any other digit.

Therefore, when you divide by 0 (*x*/0=*x*) the quotient is the same as the dividend, indicating that you've actually done nothing. The same principle applies to multiplying by 0. When you multiply anything by 0, you're not actually multiplying; you're just saying you don't have any of that.

Sometimes the answer is much simpler than the experts think. You can't divide by 0 because 0 is nothing. Nothing can do nothing, and nothing can be done with nothing. Also, . . .

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