Questions tagged [arithmetic]

Questions on basic arithmetic involving numerical quantities only. Questions involving variable values (other than the result of the operation) should be placed under the (algebra-precalculus) tag. Questions about number theory (sometimes called "arithmetic") should not use this tag and should instead use (number-theory) or (elementary-number-theory).

Arithmetic is defined as operations upon numbers using $4$ main operations along with many others:

addition - the sum of two numbers

subtraction - the difference of two numbers also defined as the addition of negative numbers

multiplication - the area of a rectangle with sides of lengths equal to the two operands

division - the number of times one number can be subtracted from another before equaling zero. Sometimes it will allow decimals and in other cases there will be a remainder left over when a number doesn't go into another evenly

See Arithmetic.

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How long will it take Marie to saw another board into 3 pieces?

So this is supposed to be really simple, and it's taken from the following picture: Text-only: It took Marie $10$ minutes to saw a board into $2$ pieces. If she works just as fast, how long will it take for her to saw another board into $3$…
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Why does this innovative method of subtraction from a third grader always work?

My daughter is in year $3$ and she is now working on subtraction up to $1000.$ She came up with a way of solving her simple sums that we (her parents) and her teachers can't understand. Here is an example: $61-17$ Instead of borrowing, making it…
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Why $\sqrt{-1 \cdot {-1}} \neq \sqrt{-1}^2$?

I know there must be something unmathematical in the following but I don't know where it is: \begin{align} \sqrt{-1} &= i \\\\\ \frac1{\sqrt{-1}} &= \frac1i \\\\ \frac{\sqrt1}{\sqrt{-1}} &= \frac1i \\\\ \sqrt{\frac1{-1}} &= \frac1i \\\\…
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Proof that ${\left(\pi^\pi\right)}^{\pi^\pi}$ (and now $\pi^{\left(\pi^{\pi^\pi}\right)}$) is a noninteger.

Conor McBride asks for a fast proof that $$x = {\left(\pi^\pi\right)}^{\pi^\pi}$$ is not an integer. It would be sufficient to calculate a very rough approximation, to a precision of less than $1,$ and show that $n < x < n+1$ for some integer $n$. …
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Is there another simpler method to solve this elementary school math problem?

I am teaching an elementary student. He has a homework as follows. There are $16$ students who use either bicycles or tricycles. The total number of wheels is $38$. Find the number of students using bicycles. I have $3$ solutions as…
kiss my armpit
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Why does an argument similiar to 0.999...=1 show 999...=-1?

I accept that two numbers can have the same supremum depending on how you generate a decimal representation. So $2.4999\ldots = 2.5$ etc. Can anyone point me to resources that would explain what the below argument that shows $999\ldots = -1$ is…
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Apparently sometimes $1/2 < 1/4$?

My son brought this home today from his 3rd-grade class. It is from an official Montgomery County, Maryland mathematics assessment test: True or false? $1/2$ is always greater than $1/4$. Official answer: false Where has he gone wrong? Addendum,…
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How to put 9 pigs into 4 pens so that there are an odd number of pigs in each pen?

So I'm tutoring at the library and an elementary or pre K student shows me a sheet with one problem on it: Put 9 pigs into 4 pens so that there are an odd number of pigs in each pen. I tried to solve it and failed! Does anybody know how to solve…
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Why is negative times negative = positive?

Someone recently asked me why a negative $\times$ a negative is positive, and why a negative $\times$ a positive is negative, etc. I went ahead and gave them a proof by contradiction like so: Assume $(-x) \cdot (-y) = -xy$ Then divide both sides by…
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Division by zero

I came up some definitions I have sort of difficulty to distinguish. In parentheses are my questions. $\dfrac {x}{0}$ is Impossible ( If it's impossible it can't have neither infinite solutions or even one. Nevertheless, both $1.$ and $2.$ are…
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Why is there no "remainder" in multiplication

With division, you can have a remainder (such as $5/2=2$ remainder $1$). Now my six year old son has asked me "Why is there no remainder with multiplication"? The obvious answer is "because it wouldn't make sense" or just "because". Somewhat I have…
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Why is $\frac{987654321}{123456789} = 8.0000000729?!$

Many years ago, I noticed that $987654321/123456789 = 8.0000000729\ldots$. I sent it in to Martin Gardner at Scientific American and he published it in his column!!! My life has gone downhill since then:) My questions are: Why is this so? What…
marty cohen
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$4494410$ and friends

The number $4494410$ has the property that when converted to base $16$ it is $44944A_{16}$, then if the $A$ is expanded to $10$ in the string we get back the original number. $3883544142410_{10}=3883544E24A_{16}$ is another. These numbers are in…
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How to convince a math teacher of this simple and obvious fact?

I have in my presence a mathematics teacher, who asserts that $$ \frac{a}{b} = \frac{c}{d} $$ Implies: $$ a = c, \space b=d $$ She has been shown in multiple ways why this is not true: $$ \frac{1}{2} = \frac{4}{8} $$ $$ \frac{0}{5} = \frac{0}{657}…
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Root Calculation by Hand

Is it possible to calculate and find the solution of $ \; \large{105^{1/5}} \; $ without using a calculator? Could someone show me how to do that, please? Well, when I use a Casio scientific calculator, I get this answer: $105^{1/5}\approx "…
Kerim Atasoy
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