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Converting FractionsConverting fractions is the key to understand a little more about fractions and decimals. Fractions ARE decimals! But it's not bad if you haven't realized this yet. Decimals were developed about 400 years ago because it had been always too complicated to perform calculations with just fractions (which were then called "broken numbers"). It took 4500 years to humankind for the passage from fractions to decimals!The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Babilonians, Mayans, Aztecs, Chinese,Romans would be astonished to see what pupils can calculate today! Fractions can be subdivided into two large groups:
Remember: a decimal fraction is fraction like 5/10, 34/1000, 24678/10000 where 10 or its powers (10, 100, 1'000, 10'000, etc..) are present as denominator (the part below the fraction). The following important questions arise: is a decimal fraction always finite? is a NON decimal fraction alway finite?
Try to look at these questions on your own, use a calculator and perform the division of fractions above(5/10, 34/1000, 24678/10000 )! What do you observe? Now try with different numbers, like 2/5, 567/2,11/7, 78245/7, 2754/348. etc... What do you oberve? When finished click here to continue this little lesson!
MATHEMATICS AS A LANGUAGE 1217. Before the introduction of the Arabic notation, multi Introduction to Mathematics (New York, 1911), p. 59. 1614. The miraculous powers of modern calculation are History of Mathematics (New York, 1897),
Source: Memorabilia mathematica; or, The philomath's quotationbook  Moritz, Robert Édouard, 18681940
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