# Difference between revisions of "Tour:Inquiry problems one (beginners)"

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This page lists some problems for thought/inquiry. Many of these problems are aha problems, and they should be obvious at the end of part two.

## Adding a point at infinity

The nonzero reals form a group under multiplication. Zero, however, is not invertible.

Here's one way to try to remedy this. Consider the set $\R_\infty = \R \cup \{ \infty \}$. Define the following commutative multiplication on $\R_\infty$: the product of two finite real numbers is their usual product, the product of a nonzero real number with $\infty$ is $\infty$ (whichever order we multiply them in), the product of $\infty$ and $\infty$ is $\infty$, and the product of $0$ and $\infty$ is $1$ (whichever order we multiply them in).

Explicitly:

• For $a,b \in \R$, the product $ab$ is defined via the usual multiplication of real numbers.
• $0 \infty = \infty 0 = 1$
• $a \infty = \infty a = \infty \ \forall \ a \in \R_\infty \setminus \{ 0 \}$ ($a$ could be a nonzero real number or $\infty$)
Is $\R_\infty$ a group under multiplication?

Explore the methods you used to prove this result, and what they tell you about the nature of groups.