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Base 10 numbering system

  1. Sep 27, 2010 #1
    .. just a question that came up in a convo between some friends of mine..

    What (if anything) would change or be different if we used a different numbering system. Would using a system based on 12 (or whatever) maybe yield different results when calculating large physics problems? (like black holes and such)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2010 #2
    A numerical system always has 10 as base, :wink: Think about that.
     
  4. Sep 27, 2010 #3
    But why? wasn't that just arbitrarily assigned?

    I think this is what I'm asking.. ..if we used this system of numbering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duodecimal) would any equations come out different?
     
  5. Sep 27, 2010 #4
    My last DIY project at home didn't go as smoothly as I had anticipated. As a result, I would consider it a big favor if everyone would switch over to a base 9 system. Thanks in advance.
     
  6. Sep 27, 2010 #5
    Ulam's Rose may look different.
     
  7. Sep 27, 2010 #6
    Results would be the same. Bases are like coordinate systems. The values don't change, just the representation.
     
  8. Sep 27, 2010 #7

    Chi Meson

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    correct answer. It's almost the same as if you could get a different answer if doing a calculation in a different language.

    The only real difference would be due to things like rounding errors, and the like. Under some bases, a certain decimal would round up, where in others, the same amount would round down. In the pure mathematics the values would be the same
     
  9. Sep 27, 2010 #8

    Chi Meson

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    I'm thinking about that...

    ...

    eh
     
  10. Sep 27, 2010 #9
    Thanks.. I get it now..

    So, (off topic) if, for example, aliens came down, they too would use a base 10 system?
     
  11. Sep 27, 2010 #10
    There are 10 kinds of people, those that understand binary notation, and those that don't.
     
  12. Sep 27, 2010 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Maybe if they had ten fingers

    I do a lot of work in base 16 [Hexadecimal]. This is common for some types of computer systems. My theory is that the fathers of industrial computers had sixteen fingers.
     
  13. Sep 27, 2010 #12
    so where did the base 10 come from? why do we use it? who 'deemed' it correct?
     
  14. Sep 27, 2010 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Count your fingers
     
  15. Sep 27, 2010 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    I would add that some older computer systems used base 8. There are still systems that address all of the inputs and outputs in octal.
     
  16. Sep 27, 2010 #15
    wait, so seriously, if we had 12 fingers, it would be different??
     
  17. Sep 27, 2010 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    That's the way I understand it.
     
  18. Sep 27, 2010 #17
    Of course, you can count to 10 on your fingers before you need a new hand. So some old rudimentary number systems like roman had III... etc then V for a full hand and X for a full hand pair. How else would you design a number system as a math illiterate living 3000 years ago when the only way people knew how to count was with their fingers?
     
  19. Sep 27, 2010 #18
    Every system is based on ten. Remember there are ten kinds of people, those who understand binary systems and those who don't. Right? Ten kinds. Ten is base, even if you call it binary.
     
  20. Sep 27, 2010 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    In general, if b is the base, we write a number in the numeral system of base b by expressing it in the form anbn + an − 1bn − 1 +an − 2bn − 2 + ... + a0b0 and writing the enumerated digits anan − 1an − 2 ... a0 in descending order.
    - wiki

    We are playing word games here.
     
  21. Sep 27, 2010 #20

    Redbelly98

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    :eek:
    That reminds me of my brother, who has worked around machinery most of his entire working life. I'll have to ask him how that base 9-2/3 system is working out for him.

    Had you not explained it, I think I never would have gotten it. :redface:
     
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