Lesson 6. Real numbers

After reading lesson 6, you’ll be able to

  • Use two types of real numbers
  • Understand the memory-versus-precision trade-off
  • Work around rounding errors in your piggy bank

Computers store and manipulate real numbers like 3.14159 using the IEEE-754 floating-point standard. Floating-point numbers can be very large or incredibly small: think galaxies and atoms. With such versatility, programming languages like JavaScript and Lua get by using floating-point numbers exclusively. Computers also support integers for whole numbers, the subject of the next lesson.

Consider this

Imagine a carnival game with three cups. The nearest cup is worth $0.10 to $1.00, the next is worth $1 to $10, and the farthest cup is worth ...

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