## fractions

Noun

- plural form of
*fraction*

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- The symmetrical separation of the edges is produced and measured by a single screw; the
**fractions**of a revolution of the screw are obtained by an index attached to one end of the screw, reading on a dial divided into loo equal parts. - To Napier seems to be due the first use of the decimal point in arithmetic. Decimal
**fractions**were first introduced by Stevinus in his tract La Disme, published in 1585, but he used cumbrous exponents (numbers enclosed in circles) to distinguish the different denominations, primes, seconds, thirds, &c. Thus, for example, he would have written 123.456 as 123@4050603. - In the Rabdologia Napier gives an "Admonitio pro Decimali Arithmetica," in which he commends the
**fractions**of Stevinus and gives an example of their use, the division of 861094 by 43 2. - This single instance of the use of the decimal point in the midst of an arithmetical process, if it stood alone, would not suffice to establish a claim for its introduction, as the real introducer of the decimal point is the person who first saw that a point or line as separator was all that was required to distinguish between the integers and
**fractions**, and used it as a permanent notation and not merely in the course of performing an arithmetical operation. - Napier thus had complete command over decimal
**fractions**and the use of the decimal point.

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