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Topic: Is there a name for this notation?
Replies: 8   Last Post: Oct 9, 2011 9:17 PM

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Steven D'Aprano

Posts: 21
Registered: 3/22/11
Is there a name for this notation?
Posted: Oct 8, 2011 2:08 PM
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Long ago, I came across a book that mentioned a particular notation for
writing numbers in terms of sums of powers of some base, but *not* in the
conventional form.

For example, using 2 as the base and comparing to decimal:

1 = 2^0 => "0"
2 = 2^1 => "1"
3 = 2^1 + 2^0 => "10"
4 = 2^2 => "2"
5 = 2^2 + 2^0 => "20"
6 = 2^2 + 2^1 => "21"

and so forth. Obviously there is no way of writing zero, and the order of
the digits is arbitrary: I could have written either "12" or "21" for
decimal 6.

Unfortunately I have forgotten all details about this except the basic
notation, including the name of the book.

Is there a name for this notation, is it useful for anything, and where
might I find out more about it?

Thanks in advance,


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