The num­bers game

Stanthorpe Border Post - - LIFE -

WITH­OUT num­bers, how would it be pos­si­ble to count the to­tal of stu­dents in the class, dol­lars in the pocket, runs in a cricket match or days in a week?

Num­bers are ev­ery­where in daily life. They have be­come an indis­pens­able part our world.

Can you imag­ine not hav­ing num­bers? Look around you. They are ev­ery­where.

Types of num­bers

The idea of num­bers dates back to early civil­i­sa­tions where so­ci­eties had some sys­tem of count­ing as a way to or­gan­ise and keep track of things as they were used up, added to or traded.

With the in­ven­tion of writ­ing, sym­bols were used to rep­re­sent the num­bers. Dif­fer­ent meth­ods of rep­re­sent­ing nu­meric sym­bols were in­vented and the var­i­ous strands of math­e­mat­ics de­vel­oped.

There are many dif­fer­ent types of num­bers, each of which plays an im­por­tant role within both math­e­mat­ics and our world.

The most com­mon types of num­bers you ex­plore through math­e­mat­ics are: nat­u­ral num­bers: These are the first num­bers you learn about, also known as count­ing num­bers.

These are num­bers used pri­mar­ily for count­ing and or­der­ing eg: 3

In­te­gers. These are whole num­bers, in­clud­ing neg­a­tive num­ber val­ues eg: -2;-1; 0; 1; 2;

prime num­bers: nat­u­ral num­bers greater than 1 that can be

di­vided by only 1 and it­self (eg, 43)

com­pos­ite num­bers: any num­ber hav­ing three or more fac­tors/di­vi­sors

ra­tio­nal num­bers: num­bers that can be ex­pressed as the ra­tio of two in­te­gers eg: ½ also re­ferred to as frac­tions. All ra­tio­nal num­bers have a dec­i­mal equiv­a­lent. Eg 0.5

ir­ra­tional num­bers: num­bers that can­not be ex­pressed as sim­ple frac­tions eg, pi

real num­bers: All the ra­tio­nal plus all the ir­ra­tional num­bers.

in­fi­nite num­ber: is one that is greater than all other num­bers, the largest of all num­bers, a lim­it­less quan­tity Or­di­nal num­bers: de­note or­der in a set by de­scrib­ing the po­si­tion eg: third

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