Working with the set of real numbers

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Wed Feb 12 09:56:29 CET 2014


Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> writes:

> On Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM, Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> > Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> writes:
> >
> >> I have yet to find any computer that works with the set of real
> >> numbers in any way. Never mind optimization, they simply cannot
> >> work with real numbers.
> >
> > Not *any* computer? Not in *any* way? The Python built-in ‘float’
> > type “works with the set of real numbers”, in a way.
>
> No, the Python built-in float type works with a subset of real numbers

So, “works with a subset of real numbers” is not satisfactory, then. Okay.

> Same goes for fractions.Fraction and [c]decimal.Decimal. All of them
> are restricted to some subset of rational numbers, not all reals.
>
> > What specific behaviour would, for you, qualify as “works with the
> > set of real numbers in any way”?
>
> Being able to represent surds, pi, e, etc, for a start.

So, if I understand you right, you want to say that you've not found a
computer that works with the *complete* set of real numbers. Yes?

-- 
 \       “To have the choice between proprietary software packages, is |
  `\      being able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a |
_o__)                        master.” —Richard M. Stallman, 2007-05-16 |
Ben Finney




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