Nonnothing values of zero

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Monster
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Nonnothing values of zero

Postby Monster » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:24 pm

This isn't so much a brainteaser as a minor thought exercise.

What measurements that have a value of 0 are not nothing?

For example, 0 grams is nothing. 0 miles is nothing. 0 people is nothing.

0 degrees Celsius is something. The bit value 0 going through a circuit is something.

0 degrees Celsius is a definite nonnothing measurement of heat. (Contrast to 0 Kelvins which is indeed a "nothing" measurement of heat.) In the case of the bit value 0, when I learned about circuitry in my computer science course 10+ years ago, our teacher said it's a small quantity of volts. The bit value 1 is a slightly greater quantity of volts.

Maybe the number 0 on my telephone is another nonnothing value of 0. Except it's not a measurement of anything so I don't know if I can count it.
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Re: Nonnothing values of zero

Postby tenthie » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:56 am

o fahrenheit is another..but then that would be counted in when u mentioned temperarture...and what about 0 m/s... it could be that the velocity is 0m/s but that wont mean the speed is....but is that a proper measure???? ok..m confused..... :roll:

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Martin Brock
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Re: Nonnothing values of zero

Postby Martin Brock » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:01 pm

0 degrees Celsius is nothing more than the freezing point of water and nothing less.
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Re: Nonnothing values of zero

Postby toro » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:47 am

You should re-think this:

0 grams rest mass (I assume is what you are referring to) is the rest-mass energy of a photon as well as a gluon (though this last point is debatable with regards to the topic). Atoms are a specific composite system which by definition cannot have 0 rest mass. This doesn't mean zero mass is defined as nothing.

0 miles is not 'nothing'. It is the width of a point in space. This is defined as the position you currently occupy (classically).

0 people is not nothing, it's no one. This is something: a place where no people live.

0 Kelvin is not nothing, it's the ground state energy of a quantum system.

Regarding your zero and one in computing, that's simply system-defined. "0" is not a measure, "0" is an encoding of a measurement outcome. This outcome could be defined however the builder chose - "0" could be defined as V < 1.73359 V and "1"as V > 1.73359 V if one wished. Further, "K" and "L" would be just as valid as "0" and "1".

If your question is "what is a system with a measured value of zero that has a non-zero value?" the question is contradictory.

it could be that the velocity is 0m/s but that wont mean the speed is


The speed would have to be, as speed is simply a measure of the magnitude of velocity.

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Re: Nonnothing values of zero

Postby IBelieve » Sun May 05, 2013 4:53 am

Relative quantities like velocity and time can never be said to have an absolute value since they depend on the frame of reference.


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