Zero Zen

Ah, the Zen things a mathematician sees. This is for today:

a non-zero zero

This is less insane than it sounds like, as in maths a zero is, in addition to the number (0), a name for any point x in which a function gets the value zero: 2 is a zero of the function f(x) = x-2.

That’s a non-zero zero, while to that function zero is not a zero.

Oy vey.

And this has been a yet another part of my attempts to explain Tom Lehrer’s comment of “Some of you may have had occasion to run into mathematicians and to wonder therefore: How they got that way?”

Maybe this will help:

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