Welcome to the second installment of Math Superpowers! This is a series of blog posts focusing on different abilities related to math or physics. None of these are my own and have instead been conceived and utilized by different creators. Last time, vector manipulation proved to be the be-all-end-all of superpowers, but today, we will be looking at the magnificent ability known as division by zero.
The main effect of this power is twofold – it can scramble things around or make things into one. It can also be seen as a complicated version of transmutation, which is based more in science than math. Think of it as the equation A = B, but before this, A ≠ B until you apply division by zero. The equation is dependent on the elements chosen.
For example, you have fire and water. If you have Fire (A) = Water (B), you become able to swim in fire because all fire turns to water. If you have Water (A) = Fire (B), you can burn things by wetting it.
Another example can be a tree and water. If you have Tree (A) = Water (B), the tree becomes water. If you have Water (A) = Tree (B), you can plant trees by dropping water on the ground.
This best works with an element on each side of the equation. If you have more than one, division by zero will destroy any duplicates. For example, if you are faced against an enemy with a knife, axe, and pepper spray, division by zero will render all their alternative weapons obsolete, giving you a fair advantage in a fight.
What if you want to divide by nothing? Well, that’s when you get a black hole or absolute destruction. And if you want to divide by one element, the outcome will be varied and unpredictable.
How does the math work? Well, division is the inverse of multiplication. If A x B = C, then A = C/B, where the result is a unique number (D). Now, D x B = C. Zero, because of mathematical rules, results in that 0 x n = 0, where n is any number and 0 cannot be defined. This is how the philosophy behind collapsing two elements into one is formed.
Individuals with this ability may also have the power to create black holes, manipulate time and space, perform transmutations, manipulate nothingness (since it is possible to divide by zero for maximum destruction), and cancel out clones and duplicates.
Limitations include the tendency to have one-sided results, especially if the individual is unskilled and unwise in their placements of elements on the equation. The chances of creating a black hole is also high if the individual doesn’t have enough knowledge to use their power wisely. As such, extensive understanding is needed before the individual can apply division by zero because if the power is used carelessly, all sorts of irreversible damage can arise and cause further complications.
Not very many characters are cited to have this ability. One of them includes Thoma Avenir, the protagonist of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, a light novel written by Masaki Tsuzuki and illustrated by Yukari Higa. Thoma is capable of using Divide Zero, a powerful spell that has a high penetrating and destructive power. It isn’t used frequently, possibly because of how destructive it can be. The light novel series is currently on indefinite hiatus.
Join us next time on Math Superpowers as we tackle the lesser known superpowers conceived and used by creators alike to give their characters a unique spotlight from the rest!