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# The Set of Real Numbers

1. Introduction
This chapter mainly talks about the set of real numbers and the operations
involving real numbers. It includes a review discussion on the properties of real
numbers, the laws of exponents, polynomials, special products, the binomial theorem,
and factoring of polynomials.

2. The Set of Real Numbers
Everyday situations reveal that the set of real numbers is very important,
specifically the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0. This is known as the number
system in base ten. This was developed by the Hindus and was later translated to
Arabic. There are other number systems which are of major importance. Three of
these are the base two system, the base eight system, and the base sixteen system.

In base ten system, a number may be used singly or in combination to indicate
(a) quantity there are three sides in a triangle; (b) order I came first. You came
second; (c) construction the numbers 1 and 2 may be used to form any of the
numbers 12, 21, 0.12, 0.21 (the zero is used to indicate that the number is less than 1);
(d) place 0 is used to established the place value as used in the numbers 60, 703,
and 0.0009.

In another manner, the significance of real numbers can be demonstrated by
the following examples:
4728 =
3 2 1 0
4 10 7 10 2 10 8 10 + + +
0.5163 =
1 2 3 4
5 1 6 3

10 10 10 10
+ + +

3. Subsets of Real Numbers
The set of real numbers has many important subsets. Some of these subsets
are enumerated below:

Natural Numbers
The set of natural numbers is also called the set of positive integers. Also, this
set of numbers is the first set of numbers that our parents have taught us. Thus, this
set is also known as the counting numbers. We denote this set by , and may be
written as
{ } 1, 2, 3, ... =

Whole Numbers
The set of whole numbers is composed of the set of natural numbers and the
number zero, 0, and is denoted by . W Then
{ } 0, 1, 2, 3, ... W =
which is equivalent to { } 0 , W = by set operation.
Negative Integers
The set of negative numbers, given by the set of all negative n for , ne
arouse to allow solutions to the equation , x a b + = where , . a be Correspondingly,
for each positive integer , n there exists a negative integer such that if it is added to
, n the sum is 0. For example, if 10 is added to 10, then the sum is equal to 0.

The negative numbers, denoted by ,

## can be written as { } ..., 3, 2, 1 .

=

Integers
The set of integers is the union of three disjoint sets: the positive integers,
zero, and the negative integers, and denoted by , is given by
{ } ..., 3, 2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ... =

Rational Numbers
These numbers are commonly called fractions. Rational numbers arouse to
allow solutions to the equation bx a = for all , , a be and 0. b = The set of rational
numbers is denoted by .

When 1, b = x a = . That is, . xe Hence, . c

Some numbers in decimal form are considered rational. These numbers may
either a repeating or terminating decimals. For example, consider the following
numbers with their corresponding decimal form:

1
3
= 0.333...
25
90
= 0.2777...

357
999
= 0.357357...
817
900
= 0.90777...

Irrational Numbers
When a number x cannot be considered as a rational number, then it is called
an irrational number. This means that no fraction corresponds to x. Examples of this
set of numbers are e, , t and 0.2314527... . The set of irrational numbers is denoted
by '.

The first and second of the given numbers have infinitely many digits when
written in decimal form. Also, with the third number, the digits before the three dots
do not repeat. These three numbers are examples of nonrepeating, nonterminating
decimals.

When the rational and irrational numbers are combined, the set of real
numbers will be formed. Thus, . ' =

Figure 1.1 (from a to c) shows different representations of the set of real
number. It also shows the subsets of and their relationship with each other.

Other subsets of such as the odd numbers, the even numbers, the prime
numbers, the multiples of 2, multiples of 3, etc may be added.

4. Properties of Real Numbers
The Real Number System is composed of , together with the binary
operation addition ( ) + and multiplication ( ) or . This enables us to conclude
that the system forms a field.

Suppose , , , a b ce we define the field axioms that are true to real numbers.
a. , a b ab + e e Closure Law
b. a b b a + = + Commutative Law of Addition
c. ( ) ( ) a b c a b c + + = + + Associative Law of Addition
d. a b b a = Commutative Law of Multiplication
e. ( ) ( ) a b c a b c = Associative Law of Multiplication
f. ( ) a b c a b a c + = + (Right) Distributive Law
g. ( ) a b c a c b c + = + (Left) Distributive Law
h. 0 0 a a a + = + = Identity Law of Addition
i. 1 1 a a a = = Identity Law of Multiplication
j. ( ) 0 a a + = Inverse Law of Addition
k.
1
1
a
a = Inverse Law of Multiplication

The 0 in laws h and j and the 1 in laws i and k are called the additive and
multiplicative identity elements, respectively.

To further elaborate laws j and k, consider the following arguments:
For any , ae there exists a be such that 0. a b + =
For any , ae there exists a be such that 1. ab =

In the first statement, b is commonly known as opposite. In the second statement, b
is commonly known as reciprocal.

W

'

'
{ } 0
W
'

'
'
W

Figure 1.1a Figure 1.1b Figure 1.1c
5. Geometric Representation of Real Numbers
Often, real numbers can be represented by points on a line. This called the
real number line. This permits us to speak of the set of points rather than the set of
real numbers, hence, the statement: For each real number, there corresponds one and
only one point on the line and vice versa. This can easily be understood with Figure 2.

In the number line, observe that between two rational (irrational) numbers
there are infinitely many rational and irrational numbers. This leads to the idea that
the set of real numbers is dense everywhere.

6. Operations Involving Real Numbers
There are two predefined operations involving the set of real numbers:
addition and multiplication. These operations were discussed below.

In adding two numbers with like signs, find the sum of their absolute values
and prefix the common sign. For example, ( ) ( ) 3 5 8; + = 11 8 20. + =

In adding two numbers with unlike signs, find the difference between their
absolute values and prefix the sign of the number with greater absolute value. For
example, ( ) 17 6 11; + = ( ) 11 8 3. + =

In multiplying two numbers with like signs, find the product of their absolute
values. For example, ( ) ( ) 13 6 78; = 21 7 147. =

In multiplying two numbers with unlike signs, find the product of their
absolute values and prefix a minus sign. For example, ( ) 9 6 54; = ( ) 8 9 72. =

For simplicity, the product of a and b can be written as . ab Also, two
additional operations subtraction and division were considered involving . They
are defined as:
( ) a b a b = + and ( )
1
,
a
a
b b
| |
=
|
\ .
, a be
where ( ) b and
1
b
| |
|
\ .
are the opposite and reciprocal of b, respectively, which follows
with the previous operations. Thus, ( ) 13 19 13 19 6; = + = ( ) 17 28 17 28 11; = + =
( )
57 1
57 3;
19 19
| |
= =
|

\ .
( )
72 1 9
72 4.5.
16 16 2
| |
= = =
|
\ .

1 0 2 3
1
2

10

3

6

Figure 2. The Real Number Line
Seat Work 3

Name: Score:
Program, Year & Section: Date:

A. Determine whether each statement is true or false.

_________ 1. Every integer is a rational number.
_________ 2. Some real numbers are integers.
_________ 3. If , xe then it can be both rational and irrational.
_________ 4. A real number can both be an integer and rational.
_________ 5. There are as many real numbers between 0 and 1 than between 1 and 100.

B. Determine the properties involved in every statement. Assume that , , . a b ce

___________________ 1. ( ) 2 7 2 14 a a + = +
___________________ 2. ( ) ( ) 3 3 c a c a + + = + +
___________________ 3. ( ) ( ) 2 2 0 a b a b + + + =
___________________ 4. ( )( )
1
2
2 1
ab
ab =
___________________ 5. ( )( ) ac bc a b c + = +

C. Perform the indicated operations.

1. ( ) ( ) 2 3 7 1 + +
2. ( ) 5 2 7 +
3. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 6 1 7 3 + +
4. ( ) ( ) 4 2 3 +
5. ( ) ( ) ( ) 11 7 9 15 +
6. ( )( )( )( ) 1 4 3 2
7. ( )( )( )( )( ) 5 3 1 2 1
8. ( ) ( ) 1 2 1 2
9. ( ) 72 2 3 12
10. ( ) ( ) ( ) 36 1 3 4
D. Discuss each of the following statements.

1. The set of natural numbers is closed under division.

2. Some counting numbers are fractions.

E. Classify each of the following numbers according to categories by completing the
table below. Use a check mark if the number belongs to the set.

'
' '
None of the
other sets
1. 3.25
2. 3t
3. 0.0000025
4. 0
5.
2
7

6.
4

7. 9
8.
11
23

9.
0.809523

10.
8

7. Properties of Equality
Let , , . a b ce The following are equivalence properties:
a. Reflexive property: . a a =
b. Symmetric property: If , a b = then . b a =
c. Transitive property: If a b = and , b c = then . a c =
d. Addition property: If , a b = then . a c b c + = +
e. Multiplication property: If , a b = then . ac bc =
f. Substitution property: If , a b = then you may consider b in
place of . a

To include subtraction and division, we have
g. Subtraction property: If , a b = then . a c b c =
h. Division property: If a b = and 0, c = then .
a b
c c
=

8. Properties of Zero
Let . ae The following are the properties of zero:
a. 0 ; a a + = 0 . a a = 8 0 0; 8 0 8. + = =
b. 0 0. a = ( ) 12 0 0. =
c.
0
0,
a
= 0. a =
0
0
132
=
d. ,
0
a
undefined = 0. a =
3
0
undefined

=
e.
0
.
0
indeterminate =
f. If 0, ab = then either 0 a = or 0 b = or 0. a b = =
This is known as the ZeroProduct Property.
g.
0
1, a = 0. a =
0
123456789 1 =
h.
0
0 . indeterminate =

9. Order of Operations
In any case, the convention PEMDAS Parentheses, Exponent,
Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction will be used. It is important to
note that the parenthesis or any other symbols of groupings comes first before other
operations. Then comes the exponents, and so on. For example, consider
( ) ( ) ( ) | | | |
2 2
3 8 4 7 4 3 5 4 7 12 25 4 5 25 20 5. + = + = = = (

When no groupings are involved, this convention goes down to EMDAS.
This does not imply that multiplication should be used first before division. It follows
the First In, First Out Principle. The same is the case with Addition and Subtraction.
As such,
2 3
9 3 4 3 6 2 27 16 3 6 8 27 32 8 3. + = + = + =

10. Symbols of Groupings
Often it is desired to group two or more terms to indicate that they are to be
considered first or to be treated as though they were one term, even though it may
contain other operations. Thus, symbols of grouping were presented below.
( ) parentheses { } braces

| |
brackets aaa vinculum

11. The Laws of Exponents
Let . ae The product of a n times to itself and written as
n
a a a a is
denoted by ,
n
a where a is called the base and n is called the exponent. For
instance, if there is an N such that
n
a N = then N is called the n
th
power of a .

Suppose , . m ne Then the following holds true for .
a. ,
m n m n
a a a
+
=
4 7 11
5 5 5 ; =
b. ,
m
m n
n
a
a
a

=
7
4
3
2
2 ;
2
=
c.
( )
,
n
m mn
a a =
( )
2
3 6
4 4 ;

=
d. ( ) ,
n
n n
ab a b =
( )
3
3 2 6 3
12 2 3 2 3 ; = =
e. ,
n
n
n
a a
b b
| |
=
|
\ .

7
7
7
2 2
;
3 3
| |
=
|
\ .

In ( ), b m n = leads to
0
1 a = while 0 m= results to
1
.
n
n
a
a

=

12. Polynomials
A polynomial is an algebraic expression composed of one or more terms. A
term in a polynomial may consists of ordinary numbers and/or letters which
represents numbers. These numbers and letters are interrelated by addition,
subtraction, and multiplication. This implies that no letters appear in the denominator.
Thus,
2
13ab c and
3 2
4x y may be considered as terms in a polynomial.

In a term, the number is known as the numerical coefficient (or simply
coefficient) while the letters is commonly known as the literal coefficients (or simply
variables). For instance, in
4 3
6 , s t 6 is the numerical coefficient while
4 3
s t is the
literal coefficient.

If a term has no variables, then it is said to be a constant. Otherwise, it tends
to vary given arbitrary values of the variables.

Two or more terms that differ only in their numerical coefficients are said to
be similar terms; otherwise, they are dissimilar terms. Thus,
3
2x y and
3
7x y are
similar terms while 5xy and
2
8xy are dissimilar terms.

The degree of a term is determined by the sum of all the exponents of the
variables present. Thus, the degree of
3 2 5
2x y z is 3 2 5 10. + + =

The degree of a polynomial is defined as the highest degree of the terms in the
polynomial. For instance, the polynomial
3 3 4 2 4
3 7 4 xy x y z xy z + is of degree 9
because the second term has the degree 3 4 2 9 + + = and is the highest of the three
degrees. The first and the third terms are only of degrees 4 and 6, respectively.

A polynomial may be classified according to the number of terms it has. The
following are the classifications: monomial one term; binomial two terms;
trinomial three terms; and multinomial four or more terms. As such, 2xy is a
monomial;
3
11 7 a ab + is a binomial; 3 4 m n p + is a trinomial; and 4 8 3 9 a b c +
is a multinomial.

When the terms of a polynomial is written such that the exponents of the
variable is decreasing from left to right, then the coefficient of the first term is called
the leading coefficient. For example,
3
5 3 1 x x +

can be written as
3
3 5 1 x x + + and
3 is the leading coefficient.

13. Elementary Operations Involving Polynomials
Occasionally, two or more polynomials were combined to form another
polynomial. The combinations of these polynomials can be done by the operations of
addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Sum of Polynomials. In adding polynomials, combine like terms by adding
their numerical coefficients. This process follows ( ) . ad bd a b d + = +

For example, ( )
2 2 2 2
3 8 3 8 11 . x y x y x y x y + = + = Also, 3 8 3 8 a b a b + = +
because the terms are dissimilar.

When symbols of groupings are involved where a + precedes a symbol of
groupings, then this symbol of groupings may be removed without affecting the signs
contained terms. For example,

( ) ( )
2 2
5 6 3 2 7 6 x x x x + + + =
2 2
5 6 3 2 7 6 x x x x + + +
=
2 2
5 2 6 7 3 6 x x x x + + +
= ( ) ( ) ( )
2
5 2 6 7 3 6 x x + + + +
=
2
7 3. x x +

Difference of Polynomials. In subtracting polynomials, combine like terms by
subtracting their numerical coefficients. This process follows ( ) . ad bd a b d =

For example, ( )
4 4 4 4
12 7 12 7 5 . pq pq pq pq = = Also,
2 2
5 3 5 3 m n m n =
because the terms are dissimilar.

When symbols of groupings are involved where a precedes a symbol of
groupings, then this symbol of groupings may be removed if the sign of each term
contained is changed. For example,

( ) ( )
2 2
9 4 6 7 5 11 y y y y + + =
2 2
9 4 6 7 5 11 y y y y + +
=
2 2
9 7 4 5 6 11 y y y y + +
= ( ) ( ) ( )
2
9 7 4 5 6 11 y y + + +
=
2
2 9 17. y y +

Product of Polynomials. Multiplication of polynomials can be attained by
multiplying the terms of the factors. Generally, this follows the distributive property.

When multiplying two monomials: Apply the laws of exponents and the rules
of sign. For example,

( )( )
7 3 2 4 3 8 6 5
3 4 w x y z w x y z = ( )( )
7 3 3 8 2 6 4 5
3 4 w x y z
+ + + +

=
10 11 8 9
12 . w x y z

When multiplying a monomial to a polynomial: Multiply the monomial to
each term of the polynomial. For example,

( )
2 3 3 4 3
3 2 7 a b a b a b =
( )( ) ( )( )
2 3 3 2 3 4 3
3 2 3 7 a b a b a b a b +
=
2 3 3 1 2 4 3 3
6 21 a b a b
+ + + +

=
5 4 6 6
6 21 . a b a b

When multiplying a polynomial to another polynomial: Multiply each term of
the first polynomial by each term of the second polynomial. For example,
( )( ) 3 4 2 5 a b p q + = ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 3 2 3 5 4 2 4 5 a p a q b p b q + + +
= 6 15 8 20 . ap aq bp bq +

This product may also be accomplished by considering the first polynomial as
a monomial and follow the second concept.
( )( ) 3 4 2 5 a b p q + = ( )( ) ( )( ) 3 4 2 3 4 5 a b p a b q + + +
= ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 3 2 4 2 3 5 4 5 a p b p a q b q + + +
= 6 8 15 20 . ap bp aq bq +

Still, this product may be accomplished by aligning the polynomials vertically
and follows a procedure similar to multiplying two or more digitnumbers and
combine similar terms.

3 4
2 5
6 8
15 20
6 8 15 20
a b
p q
ap bp
aq bq
ap bp aq bq
+

+

+

Similarly, it is better to arrange the terms with decreasing exponents. The
product
( )( )
2 3 2
3 4 2 4 x x x x + + can be done as

3 2
2
5 4 2
4 3
3 2
5 4 3 2
3 4
4 2
4 12 16
3 4
2 6 8
4 11 10 4 8
x x
x x
x x x
x x x
x x
x x x x x
+
+
+
+
+ +
+ +

Division of Polynomials. The division of polynomials generally follows the
laws of exponents. Two cases will be discussed: polynomial divide by a monomial,
and polynomial divided by polynomial.

When dividing a polynomial by a monomial, divide each term of the
polynomial by the monomial. For example,

7 5 4 3 2
2
12 9 18 6 15 4
3
x x x x x
x
+ +
=
7 5 4 3 2
2 2 2 2 2 2
12 9 18 6 15 4
3 3 3 3 3 3
x x x x x
x x x x x x
+ +

=
5 3 2
2
4
4 3 6 2 5 .
3
x x x x
x
+ +

When dividing a polynomial by a polynomial, write the dividend into the form
with decreasing exponents from left to right. Then, the long division algorithm that
was introduced in arithmetic can be used. For example,

2
3 2
3 2
2
2
00 0000
0
3 4
2 5 10 8
2

3 1 0 0
00 000
00 000
00 000
00
0
3 6
4 8
4 8
0 000 4
x x
x x x x
x x
x x
x x
x
x
x
+ +
+ +
+ +
+ + + +
+
+
+ +
+
+
+
+
+
+ +
+ + +

( )
( )
( )
( ) -
( ) -
Thus,
3 2
2
5 10 8
3 4.
2
x x x
x x
x
+ + +
= + +
+

To check,

2
3 2
2
3 2
3 4
2
3 4
2 6 8
5 10 8.
x x
x
x x x
x x
x x x
+ +
+
+ +
+ + +
+ + +

In the next example, you will see that the set of polynomials is not closed
under division. That is, a polynomial divided by a polynomial may not always results
to a polynomial. Consider the division below.

2
3 2
3 2
2
2
2
3 2 2
3

00 00
00 0
00 0

00
00 000
00
3
2 2
2 000
00 000 4
6
8
x x
x x x x
x x
x
x x
x x
x
x
+ +
+ +
+ +
+
+ +
+

+ +
+
+ +
+

Thus,
3 2
2
2 2 8
2 .
3 3
x x x
x x
x x
+
= + + +

To check,

2
3 2
2
3 2
2
3
2
3 3 6
2 6
x x
x
x x x
x x
x x x
+ +

+ +

and
( )
( )
3 2 3 2
2 6 8 2 2 x x x x x x + = + which results to the dividend. This
follows from
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
P x R x
Q x
x r x r
= +

which implies ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ). P x x r Q x R x = +

The quotient of polynomial by process of Synthetic Division will be discussed
in the next chapter.

( )
( )
( )
( ) -
( ) -
Seat Work 4

Name: Score:
Program, Year & Section: Date:

A. Determine the degree n of each of the following polynomial.
1.
2 3 4 2
5 9 7; s t u v + n =
2.
9 7 5 6 7 4 3 11 5 8
7 11 21 ; a m p u v x z b c d n =
3. 37; n =
4.
4 33 12 23
5 19 ; s t u v + n =
5.
2 13 5 12
0 ; c e k m n =

B. Classify each of the following expressions according to categories by completing the
table below. Use a check mark if the number belongs to the set.

Monomial Binomial Trinomial Multinomial Polynomial
1.
3
2
5a b
cd

2.
2
3 7 3 m m +

3. ( )( ) 7 3 2 5 k k +
4.
2 2
8 6 5 3 d e d e e +

5. 12
6. ( )
2
3 4 5 x y z +
7. ( ) 5 4 5 a b a b +
8.
2 2 2
x y z
a b c
| | | | | |
+ +
| | |
\ . \ . \ .

9.
1
3
x
y
+

10.
3 3
8a

C. Remove the symbols of grouping in each of the following polynomials and simplify
the resulting expression.

1. ( ) 7 4 9 ; m m n +
2. ( ) 5 4 4 5 ; h h j (

3.
( ) { }
2 2 2 2 2
5 11 6 7 8 ; a b a b ab ab a b
(
+

4. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 2 3 2 3 4 ; r s r s r s r s + + + + ( (

5. ( ) ( ) ( ) 3 4 5 4 2 3 5 2 3 ; de f d de f de + +

D. Evaluate the following powers and express the result without zero or negative
exponents.

1.
( )( )
4 7 9 13
2 16 ; d e d e
2.
4 8 2 3 11 1
1 6 10 7 5 9
;
x y z x y z
x y z x y z

3.
( ) ( )
0
3 4 1
3 4
5 3 4 5
2
2
;
m n
m n m n
p

| |
|
\ .

4.
( ) ( ) ( )
2 4 3
3 4 3 5 4 5
2 ; a b a b a b

5.
( )
( )
2
1 3 4
3 1
4 2 6
3 5
;
s t
s t
s t
s t

| |

|
\ .

E. Perform the indicated operations and simplify.

1.
( ) ( ) ( )
5 3 5 4 3
3 4 2 5 ; m m m m m m m + + + +
2.
( ) ( )
( )
2 2
5 4 3 7 3 4 ; e e e e e
(
+ + +

3. ( )
( )
2
3 2 6 3 5 ; +
4.
3 3 2 4 2 5 4 3
2
75 25 50 15
;
5
o | o | o | o |
o |
+

5.
3 2
4 8 11 18
;
2 3
u u u
u
+

14. Special Products

15. Binomial Theorem

16. Factoring Polynomials

Definition 1

A set is a well-defined collection of objects, called its elements.