Real Exponents Next  |  Prev  |  Up  |  Top  |  Index  |  JOS Index  |  JOS Pubs  |  JOS Home  |  Search

## Real Exponents

The closest we can actually get to most real numbers is to compute a rational number that is as close as we need. It can be shown that rational numbers are dense in the real numbers; that is, between every two real numbers there is a rational number, and between every two rational numbers is a real number.3.1An irrational number can be defined as any real number having a non-repeating decimal expansion. For example, is an irrational real number whose decimal expansion starts out as3.2 Every truncated, rounded, or repeating expansion is a rational number. That is, it can be rewritten as an integer divided by another integer. For example, and, using to denote the repeating part of a decimal expansion, a repeating example is as follows: Other examples of irrational numbers include Their decimal expansions do not repeat.

Let denote the -digit decimal expansion of an arbitrary real number . Then is a rational number (some integer over ). We can say That is, the limit of as goes to infinity is .

Since is defined for all , we naturally define as the following mathematical limit: We have now defined what we mean by real exponents.

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