Main Logo Everything you wanted to know about point nine recurring
Contents By Ed, our maths studying friend.

You've probably clicked on this article expecting to find that it's really about role-playing. Bad luck. This article is being written to take the pressure off the sensitive souls who write Critical Miss. You see, last issue Jonny introduced a rating system which allows you, the readers, to let him know which articles are good and which suck.

Unfortunately, someone has to come last, and Jonny felt that rather than offend the creative talent, it would be better to have someone thick-skinned write a deliberately terrible article. So here it is. It's not even about role-playing, it's about maths. If you particularly hate maths you can give me a rating of 1 now and go read a more interesting article.

First of all, what is point nine recurring? Well, think about writing down a fraction as a decimal. For example, you write a quarter as a decimal, you write 0.25. Other fractions can be a bit more troublesome. Trying to write a third as a fraction you get 0.33333333... It never ends. Instead of writing down an infinite number of 3s, it usually saves time to write down

which is said "zero point three recurring". Recurring means that instead of terminating, the decimal continues indefinitely. Similarly, point nine recurring is 0.999999...

Looking at this number, most people think it is a little bit less than 1. In fact they are the same. Let's take a look at why. Think about how we defined point three recurring above.

What does this mean in English? It means that three times a third is one, and three times point three recurring, which must be the same thing, is point nine recurring, so one and point nine recurring must be the same number. Feel free to use this explanation to look smarter than your friends if you ever get into an argument about recurring numbers.

If you are not convinced by this, perhaps you would like to think about it another way.

Translating this back to English, it means that nine times point nine recurring is nine, which is the same as nine times one, so point nine recurring and one must be the same.

I hope that at least one of these makes sense to you.

Now all that remains is for you to give this article a rating of point nine recurring.
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Copyright 2000 Ed, our maths studying friend

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