Mathematics Principles V11

Clive W. Humphris

NUMBER TYPES: Rational and Irrational Numbers.  

A rational number is one that can be expressed in the form of a fraction, the decimal equivalent of which can be determined by dividing the denominator into the numerator, a half or 1/2 is a rational number, 1/3 is not a rational number and therefore irrational.

The square root of two will produce an irrational number.

Irrational numbers cannot be determined accurately using a calculator or computer. This is because values are stored in the microcomputer registers as binary numbers and rounding will take place as the numbers are converted.

As irrational numbers theoretically have an infinite number of decimal places they cannot be contained within the registers and therefore will either be rounded or more likely generate an overflow error. Try 1/6 this will be rounded.

Table of contents

previous page start next page