Entangling photons of different colors

Some of the most advanced communication systems now under development rely on the properties of quantum science to store and transport information. However, researchers designing quantum communication systems that rely on ...

Protecting confidentiality in genomic studies

Genome-wide association studies, which look for links between particular genetic variants and incidence of disease, are the basis of much modern biomedical research.

New quantum method generates really random numbers

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a method for generating numbers guaranteed to be random by quantum mechanics. Described in the April 12 issue of Nature, the experimental ...

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Number

A number is a mathematical object used to count and measure. In mathematics, the definition of number has been extended over the years to include such numbers as zero, negative numbers, rational numbers, irrational numbers, and complex numbers.

Mathematical operations are certain procedures that take one or more numbers as input and produce a number as output. Unary operations take a single input number and produce a single output number. For example, the successor operation adds one to an integer, thus the successor of 4 is 5. Binary operations take two input numbers and produce a single output number. Examples of binary operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and exponentiation. The study of numerical operations is called arithmetic.

A notational symbol that represents a number is called a numeral. In addition to their use in counting and measuring, numerals are often used for labels (telephone numbers), for ordering (serial numbers), and for codes (e.g., ISBNs).

In common use, the word number can mean the abstract object, the symbol, or the word for the number.

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