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The Set of Real Numbers

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion, you should be able to: Identify subsets of the set of real numbers; Recognize various forms of rational numbers; Distinguish rational numbers from irrational numbers; Locate numbers on the real number line.

What is a number?
Numbers rule the universe Pythagoras All is number - Pythogoreans

A number is a mathematical object used in counting and measuring. A notational symbol which represents a number is called a numeral.

Natural Numbers
All natural numbers are truly natural. We find them in nature. Also called as counting numbers

Some Subsets of

Time to Think!

What is the largest prime number that you know? ? Is ? and disjoint? and disjoint? and disjoint?

Is Are Are Are

Whole Numbers
Is zero a number? How can a number of nothing be a number?

Negative numbers are natural numbers with negative (minus) sign. A positive number added to its negative results to 0.

Some Subsets of

Rational Numbers

Numbers that can be expressed as a ratio or quotient of two integers

In form of fractions, terminating decimals and non-terminating but repeating decimals.


All integers are rational numbers.

Irrational Numbers
Numbers that can not be expressed as the ratio of two integers Decimal numbers that neither repeat nor terminate

Note that irrational numbers cannot be a rational number, i.e.,


Some of the irrational numbers..

Real Numbers

The union of the set of rational numbers and the set of irrational numbers

Relating the numbered sets we have,

Time to Think!
Perform the following operations:

Real Number Line

One-dimensional coordinate system

There is a one-to-one correspondence between the set of points on a line and the set of all real numbers.

Real Number Line

Locate the following numbers in the number line:

Properties of Real Numbers

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the lesson, you should be able to: Enumerate field axioms; Illustrate the closure property for real numbers; Identify the identity and inverse elements for addition and multiplication; Explain the density property.

Operations on
Addition Multiplication

Subtraction Division Exponentiation Root Extraction

Closure Property
A set is closed (under an operation) if and only if the operation on two elements of the set produces another element of the set. If an element outside the set is produced, then the operation is not closed.

Closure Property
For any , and

That is,

is closed under


Time to Think!

Is Is Is

closed under
closed under closed under closed under

and and and

? ? ?

Commutative Property
For any

That is, we can add and multiply real numbers in any order.

Associative Property
For any

That is, we can group numbers in a sum/product in any way we want and still get the same answer.

Distributive Property
of multiplication over addition
For any

Existence of Identity Elements

Zero added to any number results to the number itself. Any number multiplied to one gives the number itself.

Existence of Identity Elements

For any , there exist two unequal numbers (read zero and one, resp.) such that

Existence of Inverse Element

Given a certain number, what will you add to it so that the result will be the additive identity element zero?
What will you multiply to it so that the result is the multiplicative identity one?

Existence of Inverse Element

For any element of , there exists another , denoted by such that

For any element of

, , there exists another , denoted by such that

Subtraction & Division

Subtracting a number means adding the negative of that number

Dividing by a number means multiplying the reciprocal of that number

Density Property

We can always find a real number that lies between any two real numbers.

State the property that justifies the truth of the following statements:

A number is either rational or irrational. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the set of real numbers and the set of points on the line. Real numbers satisfy the field axioms; We need to be familiar with the properties of real numbers in order to solve algebra problems.