Talk:List of numeral systems

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 Field: Number theory

Names of numbers in languages[edit]

By definition, the verbal names of numbers in languages cannot be a numeral system (only if there is a system of written marks etc.). AnonMoos (talk) 14:06, 22 April 2011 (UTC)


I wrote this in the table at the undecimal row:

"Jokingly proposed during the French revolution to settle a dispute between those proposing a shift to duodecimal and those who were content with decimal."

Can anyone help me with a source for that?Laelele (talk) 12:04, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure if it was a joke. Pages 69–70 of Glaser's History of Binary and Other Nondecimal Numeration has "The Metric Commission, consisting of Borda, Lagrange, Lavoisier, Tillet, and Concorcet, made a ‘Rapport’ on October 27, 1790 to the Academy of Science in Paris, indicating that the Commission had briefly considered proposing that the decimal arithmetic be replaced for common use by the duodecimal system and that the Metric System be duodecimalized to match. ... Any advantages of base 12 would be due to its being richer in divisors than 10 and certain common fractions such as 1/3 and 1/4 would have simpler equivalents in base 12 notation. As one can gather from a later paper by Delambre ..., at least one member of the Commission, namely Lagrange, refused to concede even such a slight theoretical advantage to base 12. He argued to the contrary, that poorness in divisors was an advantage, and that perhaps they should consider a prime number, such as 11, since then no proper fraction (with 11 as a denominator) would be reducible and each would neatly preserve 11 as a denominator." This just screams "bad idea" to me, though: imagine the recurring decimals that we would have to deal with on a daily basis! Double sharp (talk) 14:46, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Positional numeral systems without own article[edit]

There are a number of positional numeral systems that do not have or no longer have their own article. Where there is not another page that covers such a system, i have linked the redirect to 'list of numeral systems' where there is at least mention of the system, and there is some context. Bcharles (talk) 14:23, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

On £sd and degrees[edit]

Do these really count as bases 240 and 360? They're more like a single place of that base (and for £sd, it's not even pure base 240; it's 20-on-12). (Yes, I did add degrees as base 360 some time ago, but I'm reconsidering it.) Double sharp (talk) 15:01, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Standard positional numeral systems table[edit]

Imagine that! The most well-cited entry is the one stating decimal to be the most commonly used base! (Giggles.) Now to try to improve that situation... Double sharp (talk) 01:08, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

See also[edit]

I came across these two lists

and wondered if someone looking for information on one list might end up only finding and reading the other, so I thought they should at least be cross-linked. I am also wondering if both could use some cleanup. IveGoneAway (talk) 23:15, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Maybe Roman numeral is misplaced in List of types of numbers.
Maybe List of types of numbers could be annotated to say that the list is generally in terms of the Hindu–Arabic numeral system. IveGoneAway (talk) 23:24, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree that numeral systems do not strictly belong at List of types of numbers. On the other hand, the average reader probably does not understand the distinction between numerals and numbers. So if we relegate Roman numerals, binary numerals, etc. to a hatnote, then it has to be prominent and clear. Mgnbar (talk) 00:49, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

DNA - Quaternary but not[edit]

Earthly DNA has four nucleobases, or "values": A, C, G, and T. Thus, genetic sequences can be stored in pseudo-quaternary binary: 00, 01, 10, and 11. Also, DNA itself can store binary information in quaternary strings. However, since there is no inherent valuation of these "digits" from zero to three, DNA neucleobases do not count as an example of a quaternary number system. (There are also many nucleic acid analogues -- fake nucleobases -- but I won't go into that here.) --2601:0:580:47C3:7D1C:9CB3:5AAC:1FAE (talk) 20:38, 3 January 2016 (UTC)