Why A Mechanical Calculator Tries To Commit “Suicide” When You Divide By Zero?


mechanical computer divide by zeroShort Bytes: What happens when you try to divide by zero on your computer or phone. It gave an error on my computer and showed infinity on my smartphone? But, what if you divide by zero on a mechanical computer? Well, the result is scary and you need to watch it yourself to believe it.

Do you remember your early mathematics classes when your teacher taught you the rules of multiplication and division? Your teacher might have told you that you can’t divide any number by zero as the answer is infinity and your calculator shows error or infinity.

But, if you try the same on a mechanical calculator, the device goes berserk and you see something worse than an error message. In the video shared below, someone attempts to divide by zero on a mechanical calculator Facit ESA-01 and the outcome is scary.

Watch the video here:

So, what does a mechanical calculator try to commit suicide?

The mechanical calculator basically performs division and multiplication by subtracting and adding, thus division is simply a sequential subtraction.

For example, dividing 10 by 2 is basically —

1. 10-2=8
2. 8-2=6
3. 6-2=4
4. 4-2=2
5. 2-2=0

However, if you repeat the same process using zero, it doesn’t make sense to the calculator and it becomes an infinite loop:

1. 20-0=20
2. 20-0=20
3. 20-0=20
4. 20-0=20
5. 20-0=20
6. 20-0=20 and so on….

The same happens when a division-by-zero command is given to Facit ESA-01. This vintage machine tries perform the subtraction over and over to calculate the results.

Add your views about this weird result in the comments below.

Also Read: This Maths Problem Recently Drove Internet and a Group Of High School Students Crazy

Adarsh Verma

Adarsh Verma

Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]
More From Fossbytes

Latest On Fossbytes

Find your dream job