Integers in Daily LifeDate: 05/31/2002 at 10:29:41 From: Jessica, Tracy, and Mike Subject: integers Hi, We want to ask you how integers are used in daily life? Thank you. Sincerely, Jessica, Tracy, and Mike Date: 05/31/2002 at 12:31:33 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: integers Hi, Jessica, Tracy, and Mike! You just used an integer when you typed your age in! Anytime you count anything, you are using integers. That's because integers are all the positive and negative whole numbers, _including_ the natural numbers you first learned. So you've been using integers all your life. Perhaps you really meant, how are negative numbers used (since you were probably introduced to the term "integer" as a way of extending the natural numbers to include negative numbers)? If you live in a cold climate, you use negative numbers (often negative integers) to tell the temperature in the winter. That is more likely if you live in a country where the Celsius scale is used. If you do any kind of science or engineering, you will find negative numbers essential. Even when quantities we measure, like mass or pressure, are always positive, we need negative numbers to describe changes or differences or rates of change, because quantities can both increase and decrease. Until negative numbers were invented, algebra was extremely difficult, so many inventions were held back. Much of the technology you take for granted ultimately depends on negative numbers! Money also can increase and decrease, so you need negative numbers in finance--though in that world they are only slowly catching up with the modern world and learning to write "-10" instead of "(10)" or use "red ink" to indicate negative numbers! You might find these answers interesting: http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/57152.html http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/59049.html http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/52475.html - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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