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This chapter describes some basic concepts which you have seen in earlier grades and lays the foundation for the remainder of this book. You should feel confident with the content in this chapter, before moving on with the rest of the book.

You can try out your skills on exercises in this chapter and ask your teacher for more questions just like them. You can also try to make up your own questions, solve them and try them out on your classmates to see if you get the same answers.

Practice is the only way to get good at maths!

What is a number?

A number is a way to represent quantity. Numbers are not something that you can touch or hold, because they are not physical. But you can touch three apples, three pencils, three books. You can never just touch three, you can only touch three of something. However, you do not need to see three apples in front of you to know that if you take one apple away, there will be two apples left. You can just think about it. That is your brain representing the apples in numbers and then performing arithmetic on them.

A number represents quantity because we can look at the world around us and quantify it using numbers. How many minutes? How many kilometers? Howmany apples? How much money? How much medicine? These are all questions which can only be answered using numbers to tell us “how much” of something we want to measure.

A number can be written in many different ways and it is always best to choose the most appropriate way of writing the number. For example, “a half” may be spoken aloud or written in words, but that makes mathematics very difficult and also means that only people who speak the same language as you can understand what you mean. A better way of writing “a half” is as a fraction 1 2 or as a decimal number 0 , 5 . It is still the same number, no matter which way you write it.

In high school, all the numbers which you will see are called real numbers and mathematicians use the symbol R to represent the set of all real numbers , which simply means all of the real numbers. Some of these real numbers can be written in ways that others cannot. Different types of numbers are described in detail in Section 1.12.


A set is a group of objects with a well-defined criterion for membership. For example, the criterion for belonging to a set of apples, is that the object must be an apple. The set of apples can then be divided into red apples and green apples, but they are all still apples. All the red apples form another set which is a sub-set of the set of apples. A sub-set is part of a set. All the green apples form another sub-set.

Now we come to the idea of a union , which is used to combine things. The symbol for union is . Here, we use it to combine two or more intervals. For example, if x is a real number such that 1 < x 3 or 6 x < 10 , then the set of all the possible x values is:

( 1 , 3 ] [ 6 , 10 )

where the sign means the union (or combination) of the two intervals. We use the set and interval notation and the symbols described because it is easier than having to write everything out in words.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 maths [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11306/1.4
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