Decimal

The decimal numeral system (also called base ten or occasionally denary) has ten as its base. It is the numerical base most widely used by modern civilizations.

Decimal notation often refers to a base-10 positional notation such as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system; however, it can also be used more generally to refer to non-positional systems such as Roman or Chinese numerals which are also based on powers of ten.

Decimals also refer to decimal fractions, either separately or in contrast to vulgar fractions. In this context, a decimal is a tenth part, and decimals become a series of nested tenths. There was a notation in use like 'tenth-metre', meaning the tenth decimal of the metre, currently an Angstrom. The contrast here is between decimals and vulgar fractions, and decimal divisions and other divisions of measures, like the inch. It is possible to follow a decimal expansion with a vulgar fraction; this is done with the recent divisions of the troy ounce, which has three places of decimals, followed by a trinary place.

Read more about DecimalDecimal Notation, Decimal Computation, History

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Famous quotes containing the word decimal:

    It makes little sense to spend a month teaching decimal fractions to fourth-grade pupils when they can be taught in a week, and better understood and retained, by sixth-grade students. Child-centeredness does not mean lack of rigor or standards; it does mean finding the best match between curricula and children’s developing interests and abilities.
    David Elkind (20th century)