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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

0.x = 0 is not an axiom

The statement 0.x = 0 is not an axiom and can thus be proved.

The axioms for the integers are, for addition
(A1) a + (b + c) = (a + b) + c
(A2) a + 0 = a
(A3) a + (-a) = 0
(A4) a + b = b + a
for multiplication
(M1) a(bc) = (ab)c
(M2) 1a = a
(M3) ab = ba
and for addition and multiplication ('distributive laws')
(D1) a(b+c)=ab+ac
(D2) (a+b)c=ac+ab.

So how do mathematicians prove that 0.a=0?
They do something like this.
a = a
a = (1+0).a (by A2 and M2)
a = 1.a + 0.a (by D2)
a = a + 0.a (by M2)
0.a = 0 by (A2).

1. I've forgotten what the correct word is for this type of nit-picking.
You should have had A3 in the last statement:)

Ray

2. Or: (0 + 0)a = 0a; so 0a + 0a = 0a, hence 0a = 0.

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(Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion, colloquially aka Raumpatrouille Orion was the first German science fiction television series. Its seven episodes were broadcast by ARD beginning September 17, 1966. The series has since acquired cult status in Germany. Broadcast six years before Star Trek first aired in West Germany (in 1972), it became a huge success.)