Friday, March 03, 2006

Math to Wow Your Friends - Part I

Is it possible to write the number like 0.232323... as a fraction?
We call numbers like this repeating, non-terminating decimals, and the answer is Yes!

Here’s how:
Give the number a name, like n.

Since the number repeats every two digits, multiply it by 100.

Now, subtract n from both sides.

Then solve for n by dividing both sides by 99

It turns out that most types of numbers can be written as fractions. These types of numbers are called rational numbers. Numbers that cannot be written as fractions, like the square root of 2, are called irrational numbers.

John said I needed a witty ending like, Whenever someone calls you irrational, say "No I'm not. I can be written as a fraction!"
Are you happy now John?!

Part II - coming soon

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