Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Tertiary Arithmetics

  1. Aug 29, 2008 #1


    User Avatar

    Is there any arithmetic operation with three operands (or arguments), such that it cannot be calculated by a sequence of common binary and unary operations? This is not a homework problem or anything like that, I am just curious.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What precisely do you mean by 'arithmetic' here? Anyways, if you're simply talking about functions, then the answer is no, because you can encode a pair of numbers into a single number, and build your ternary function from the two binary functions:

    1. Encode the first two numbers into a single number
    2. Take the output of (1) and the third number, unpack (1) and compute the ternary function

    An example of how to do the encoding would be to alternate taking digits from your two numbers. For example,

    encode(12345, 678) = 1020364758

    Incidentally, the word is 'ternary'
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Tertiary Arithmetics
  1. Fuzzy arithmetic (Replies: 3)

  2. Modular arithmetic (Replies: 5)

  3. Arithmetic progression (Replies: 2)

  4. Arithmetic Sequence (Replies: 4)

  5. Modular arithmetic (Replies: 7)