Infinity to the Zero Power
Date: 04/28/2001 at 04:16:17 From: Fady Subject: Property of Numbers Does (infinity)^zero = 1? Why ?
Date: 04/28/2001 at 05:48:18 From: Doctor Mitteldorf Subject: Re: Property of Numbers Dear Fady, This isn't always true. The expression (infinity)^zero is really undefined, and can come out anything. But the way this expression comes up in practice is always the limit as something goes TOWARD infinity or TOWARD zero, or both. For example, take x to the 0 power, and let x get bigger and bigger. Then the answer each time is 1, so the limit is also 1. But take infinity to the y power, and let y get smaller and smaller. Then the answer is infinity each time, so the limit is also infinity. The interesting case is where x and y are related in some way, so x gets bigger as y gets smaller in a coordinated way. Depending on the algebraic relation between x and y, the answer can come out 1 or infinity or anything in between. - Doctor Mitteldorf, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.