Operation (mathematics)

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In mathematics, an operation is a function which takes one or more inputs (called operands) and produces an output. Some of the most common operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division,[1][2] all of which take two inputs and produce an output. These are called binary operations,[3][4] and are often used when solving math problems. Other types of operations are called unary operations,[5] which take only one input and produce an output.

There are more operations than these, including raising numbers to exponents, taking the root and applying the logarithm.

Below is a list of the most used operations.

List of mathematical operations[change | change source]

Addition[change | change source]

Addition is the first arithmetic operation and hyperoperation. It is the inverse operation of subtraction. The terms in an addition are called addends, and the result of an addition is called a sum.

The symbol for addition is +


Examples of additions:


Any number plus zero is the same number (). This is called the additive identity.

For example:

Changing the order of the addends in an addition does not change its sum. This is called the commutative property of addition.

For example:

Changing how addends are grouped in an addition does not change its sum either. This is called the associative property of addition.

For example:

Additive inverses (opposites)[change | change source]

The opposite of a number is . A number plus its opposite is always equal to 0:

For example, the opposite of 5 is -5, because

The absolute value of two opposite numbers is always the same.

Subtraction[change | change source]

Subtraction is the second arithmetic operation and the inverse operation of addition. The number that is being subtracted is the subtrahend and the number it is subtracted from is the minuend. The result of a subtraction is called a difference.

The symbol for subtraction is


Examples of subtractions:


Because of the additive identity, any number minus zero is the same number ().

In a subtraction of two terms, switching the minuend and the subtrahend changes the sign of the answer, meaning subtraction is anticommutative.

For example: and

Multiplication[change | change source]

Multiplication is the third arithmetic operation and the second hyperoperation. It is the inverse operation of division. The terms in a multiplication are called factors, and the result of a multiplication is called a product.

Multiplication is repeated addition.

The symbol for multiplication is × (• in algebra)


Examples of multiplications:


Any number times one is the same number (). This is called the multiplicative identity.

For example:

Changing the order of the factors in a multiplication does not change its product. This is called the commutative property of multiplication.

For example:

Changing how factors are grouped in a multiplication does not change its product either. This is called the associative property of multiplication.

For example:

Multiplicative inverses (reciprocals)[change | change source]

The reciprocal of a number is . A number times its reciprocal is always equal to 1:

For example, the reciprocal of 3 is 1/3, because

To get the reciprocal of a fraction, switch the numerator and the denominator: the reciprocal of is

Division[change | change source]

Division is the fourth arithmetic operation and the inverse operation of multiplication. The number that is being divided is the dividend and the number it is divided by is the divisor. The number on top of a fraction is called the numerator and the number at the bottom is called the denominator. The result of a division is called a quotient.

Division is repeated subtraction.

The symbol for division is / or a fraction.


Examples of divisions:


Because of the multiplicative identity, any number divided by one is the same number ().

Division by zero is undefined ().

In a fraction, switching the numerator and the denominator gives the reciprocal of the fraction.

For example:

Exponentiation[change | change source]

Exponentiation is the fifth arithmetic operation and the third hyperoperation. It is one of the inverse operations of roots and logarithms. The number that is being multiplied is the base and the number of times it is multiplied is the exponent. The result of an exponentiation is called a power.

Exponentiation is repeated multiplication or division.

The symbol for exponentiation is the superscript (xy) or the caret (^).


Examples of exponentiations:


Because of the multiplicative identity, the first power of any number is the same number, and the zeroth power of any number is one ( and ).

Roots[change | change source]

Roots are the sixth arithmetic operation and one of the inverse operations of exponentiation and logarithms. The first term is called the index, and the second term is called the radicand. The result of a root is called a base. When there is no index, this means it is a square (2) root.

The symbol for roots is the radical ().


Examples of roots:


The first root of any number is the same number ().

Logarithms[change | change source]

Logarithms are the seventh arithmetic operation and one of the inverse operations of exponentiation and roots. The first term is called the base, and the second term is called the power. The result of a logarithm is called an exponent. When there is no base, this means it is a base 10 logarithm.

The symbol for logarithm is logb(a)


Examples of logarithms:


The logarithm of 1 () is 0 in every base. This is because

The logarithm base e, or natural logarithm, is written as .

Modulation[change | change source]

Modulation is the eighth arithmetic operation. It gives the remainder of a division. The first term is called the modulend and the second term is called the modulator. The result of a modulation is called a modulus.

The symbol for modulation is \


Examples of modulations:

\

\

\

\

\


\ is always equal to zero, because zero can be divided by any number ().

Factorial[change | change source]

Factorial is a function which gives the number of ways to arrange objects. The term is called the index. The result of a factorial is also called a factorial.

The symbol for factorial is !


The first factorials are:


is equal to one because there is exactly one way of arranging 0 objects. Factorials are undefined for negative numbers. Factorials of fractional numbers can be calculated using the Gamma function.

Absolute value[change | change source]

Absolute value is a function which gives the distance from zero (or magnitude) of a number.

The symbol for absolute value is


Examples of absolute values:


The absolute value of is the same as the absolute value of (). This is because subtraction is anticommutative.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Definition of Operation (Illustrated Mathematics Dictionary)". mathsisfun.com. Retrieved 2021-10-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Order of Operations". mathsisfun.com. Retrieved 2021-11-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Weisstein, Eric W. "Binary Operation". mathworld.wolfram.com. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  4. "Definition of Binary Operation (Illustrated Mathematics Dictionary)". mathsisfun.com. Retrieved 2021-11-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "Definition of Unary Operation (Illustrated Mathematics Dictionary)". mathsisfun.com. Retrieved 2021-11-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)