In abstract algebra and logic, distributivity is a property of binary operations that generalizes the distributive law from elementary algebra. In propositional logic, distribution refers to two valid rules of replacement. The rules allow one to reformulate conjunctions and disjunctions within logical proofs.
For example, in arithmetic:
- 2 × (1 + 3) = (2 × 1) + (2 × 3) but 2 /(1 + 3) is not equal to (2 / 1) + (2 / 3).
In the left-hand side of the first equation, the 2 multiplies the sum of 1 and 3; on the right-hand side, it multiplies the 1 and the 3 individually, with the products added afterwards. Because these give the same final answer (8), we say that multiplication by 2 distributes over addition of 1 and 3. Since we could have put any real numbers in place of 2, 1, and 3 above, and still have obtained a true equation, we say that multiplication of real numbers distributes over addition of real numbers.
Other articles related to "distributive property, distributive":
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