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Published byWhitney Beverly Rogers Modified over 8 years ago

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Rational and Irrational Numbers

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A rational number is a number that can be expressed as a fraction or ratio (rational). The numerator and the denominator of the fraction are both integers.

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When the fraction is divided out, it becomes a terminating or repeating decimal. (The repeating decimal portion may be one number or a billion numbers!) Rational numbers can be ordered on a number line.

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6 or can ALSO be written as 6.0 -2 or can ALSO be written as -2.0 can ALSO be written as.5 can ALSO be written as -1.25 can ALSO be written as.66 repeating can ALSO be written as 0.666666… can ALSO be written as 0.38181818… can ALSO be written as 0.62855421687 where the decimals repeat after 41 digits

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Be careful when using a calculator to determine if a decimal number is irrational. The calculator may not be displaying enough digits to show you the repeating decimals, as was seen in the last example above.

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Hint: When asked to write a rational number (given in decimal form) as a fraction, " say " the decimal using place value to help form the fraction. 2.3456

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Examples: Write each rational number as a fraction: 1. 0.3 2. 0.007 3. -5.9

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Hint: When checking to see which fraction is larger, change the fractions to decimals by dividing. Examples: Which of the given numbers is greater? Using full calculator display…...6666666667 >.25 -2.333333333 > -3.666666667

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An irrational number cannot be expressed as a fraction. Also, irrational numbers cannot be represented as terminating or repeating decimals. Irrational numbers are non-terminating, non- repeating decimals.

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Examples of IRRATIONAL NUMBERS are:

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= 3.141592654

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= 1.414213562…..

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AND 0.12122122212………

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Note: Many students think that is the terminating decimal, 3.14, but it is not. Yes, certain math problems ask you to use as 3.14, but that problem is rounding the value of to make your calculations easier. is actually a non- ending decimal and is an irrational number.

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Rational and irrational numbers are real numbers.

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