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# However this often led to total disaster for example

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Unformatted text preview: en led to total disaster: for example the expression 1=0 ; 1=0 would then have a result of 0, which is completely meaningless furthermore, as the value is not large, the 21 user might not notice that any error had taken place. Consequently, it was emphasized in the 1960's that division by zero should lead to the generation of a program interrupt, giving the user an informative message such as \fatal error | division by zero". In order to avoid this abnormal termination, the burden was on the programmer to make sure that division by zero would never occur. Suppose, for example, it is desired to compute the total resistance in an electrical circuit with two resistors connected in parallel, with resistances respectively R1 and R2 ohms, as shown in Figure 4. R1 R2 The standard formula for the total resistance of the circuit is 1 T= 1 + 1: R1 R2 This formula makes intuitive sense: if both resistances R1 and R2 are the same value R, then the resistance of the whole circuit is T = R=2, since the current divides equally, with equal amounts owing through each resistor. On the other han...
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