On Numbers

Steven D'Aprano steve at REMOVEMEcyber.com.au
Mon Jan 16 21:40:08 EST 2006

Tom Anderson wrote:

> On Sun, 15 Jan 2006, Alex Martelli wrote:
>> Paul Rubin <http://phr.cx@NOSPAM.invalid> wrote:
>>> Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> writes:
>>>> I'd like to work on that. The idea would be that all the numeric 
>>>> types are representations of reals with different properties that 
>>>> make them appropriate for different uses.
>>> 2+3j?
>> Good point, so s/reals/complex numbers/ -- except for this "detail", 
>> Mike's idea do seem well founded.
> 1 ** 0.5 ?

[scratches head]

I'm not sure what point you are making here.

The square root of 1 is +1 (the negative root being 
explicitly rejected). Pure mathematicians, who may be 
expected to care whether the root is the integer 1 or 
the real number 1, are unlikely to write 1**0.5, 
prefering the squareroot symbol.

For the rest of us, including applied mathematicians, 
1**0.5 implies floating point, which implies the 
correct answer is 1.0.

So I don't really know what point you are making. What 
solution(s) for 1**0.5 were you expecting?


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