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Python can't divide??!?!

 
 
Josiah Carlson
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      02-08-2004
Axle wrote:
> Yes, python can divide... use the / operator


He was referring to the inaccuracy of binary vs. decimal
representations. Most Computer Science students don't learn about it
until sophomore year of college in their computer architectures class.


3.0 / 5.0 -> .6 in decimal.

When we're dealing with floating point arithmetic in Python (or any
other language that uses IEEE 754 double-precision floating point
representations), 3.0 / 5.0 is internally represented as:
00111111111000110011001100110011001100110011001100 11001100110011

If we then convert that back into decimal, we get .59999999999999998.

Binary representation thanks to:
http://babbage.cs.qc.edu/courses/cs341/IEEE-754.html

- Josiah
 
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