DECIMALS – THE ART OF TENTHS

Introduction

The concepts of mathematics involve the division of two individuals who do not get divided completely. So, what was the strategy to solve this issue and come up with a solution for the same? This era of 1500-1650 AD was the solution to the question and gave rise to the element in the number system. The study to give the value of half and half of half is the finding to get the notation.

A step towards the decimals

Fraction, the word derived from the Latin word Fractio, meaning “break” was used from around 1800 BCE in Egypt to express parts of a whole. At first, the numbers were limited to fractions that are in the form of numerator and denominator where the top number in the fraction is the numerator and down is the denominator. The ancient Egyptians had symbols for 2 ⁄3 and 3 ⁄4 but other fractions were expressed as the sum of unit fractions, for example as 1 ⁄3 + 1 ⁄13 + 1 ⁄17. This system worked well for recording amounts but not for doing calculations.

The importance of tenth

Simon Stevin, a Flemish engineer, and mathematician in the late 16th and early 17th century, used many calculations in his work. He simplified the concept by using fractions with a base system of tenth powers. Stevin already predicted that a decimal system would eventually be universally accepted. In the old era of Rome, fractions were based on a system of twelfths, and written in words: 1 ⁄12 was called an uncia, 6 ⁄12 was semis, and 1 ⁄24 was semiuncia, but this system made it difficult for people to do any calculations.

Introducing decimals

Finding something that was conventional factors for both time-consuming and prone to errors, the decimal system began to use. The idea of decimal fraction as the denominator as 10 where had been used five centuries before Stevin, who made decimals for calculating and recording parts as a whole. In Stevin’s new notation, numbers that would previously have been written as the sum of fractions—for example, 32 + 5 ⁄10 + 6 ⁄100 + 7 ⁄1,000—could now be written as a single number. Stevin placed circles after each number; these were shorthand for the denominator of the original decimal fraction. The whole 32 would be followed by a 0, because 32 is an integer, whereas the 6 ⁄100, for example, was expressed as 6 and a 2 inside a circle. These 2 denoted the power of 10 of the original denominators, as 100 is 102. In the same vein, the 7 ⁄1,000 became a 7 followed by a 3 inside a circle which sums up to 32.567.

Conclusion

The decimals are denoted by the point which indicates the value of fractions and makes it easy to calculate. the numbers denoting the value of fraction which doesn’t divide completely. This gave a rise to the main invention in the times of this era. This got universally approved and mathematicians all over the world acknowledged this invention.