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Stupid Question

  1. May 10, 2003 #1
    For exmaple you can represent one third more accurately with fractions (1/3) than with decimals (.33 etc etc). So why do we use the decimal system ?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2003 #2
    Not really stupid,

    the basic reason is addition and subtraction are much easier with decimals. And of course many numbers aren't representable by fractions such as π
  4. May 11, 2003 #3


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    Further, when we use fractions, it implies we know the value to an infinite accuracy. In real life, this is not practical. The decimal is useful, as it records the accuracy of the figure as well. Ie. we know 0.3 is a less accurate measurement than 0.33.
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