1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Factorial of a negative number

  1. Sep 30, 2012 #1
    Is it possible to find the factorial of a negative real number ? If possible, then what is its practical application ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Sep 30, 2012 #3

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    What about positive real numbers? Not just 1, 2, 3, ..., but also 1.5, pi, etc.

    The generalization of the factorial is the gamma function. For various reasons there's an offset of one: [itex]\Gamma(n) = (n-1)![/itex]. The gamma function is defined for complex numbers as well as real numbers. The only exception are non-positive real integers. The gamma function "blows up" at 0, -1, -2, etc.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook