The adjective decimal can be applied with reference to that which is one of the ten identical parts into which something is divided. The term is often used in the field of mathematics.
The decimal system is the one that is made up of units that are divisors or multiples of ten with respect to the main unit of the class. The decimal number system, in this framework, is based on the use of quantities represented by the powers of number ten as the base.
The symbols used by the decimal number system are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. This system is positional : the value of the digit is linked to the position it occupies in the figure.
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Let us see below how we should interpret the position of each of its digits in a number belonging to the decimal system. First of all, we must remember that we learn to name the numbers mentioned in the previous paragraph as independent elements of a number, and from our basic education they focus on the decimal system; we call the symbol 4 “four”, for example, without thinking that in the number 421 it is no longer read in this way, but “four hundred”.
Continuing in the decimal system, if we begin to analyze an integer from its extreme right, we will find the following positions or columns: the units, the tens, the hundreds, the thousands, the tens of thousands, the hundreds of thousands, the units of a million and so on.
As explained in a previous paragraph, to find each of these values it is necessary to multiply a number by ten raised to a different power; in the units column, this power is zero, and it increases by one unit as we move to the left (thousand units, for example, are obtained by multiplying the corresponding number by ten raised to three ).
The need to classify the digits of numbers greater than or equal to ten into different categories, so to speak, is far from being an arbitrary or merely aesthetic issue: thanks to this division into groups, the resolution of arithmetic operations becomes much easier. both the simplest and the most complex.
Just by observing the steps that we carry out when solving a simple sum, we can appreciate the comfort that the recognition of different positions or columns within the decimal system offers us. If we add 4 plus 7, for example, since the result is greater than 9, we must break it down into the units column (where we will place a 1 ) and the tens column (where another 1 will go ).
A decimal number is one that has an integer part and a fractional part, separated from each other by a comma (, ) or a period (. ). The number 5.8, for example, has an integer part ( 5 ) and a fractional or decimal part ( 0.8 ).
It should be noted that the symbol used to mark the separation between the fractional part and the integer part is known as the decimal separator. In some countries, the decimal symbol is the comma, while in others the point is used. In this way, the number 5.8 can be written 5.8 in some regions.
Decimal numbers also have their own nomenclature system, which gives each position a different name. For figures to the left of the comma (or the corresponding decimal separator, depending on the region), the same labels mentioned above are used; positions to the right, on the other hand, are called tenths, hundredths, thousandths, and so on.
The decimal metric system, on the other hand, is a system of measurements and weights, with the kilogram and meter as base units, whose units are divisors or multiples of ten.