Real Number

What Does Real Number Mean?

A real number is any positive or negative number available within the entire mathematical range of numbers. Real numbers include whole numbers, rational numbers, irrational numbers and virtually any type of number that is not an imaginary number or that can’t be computed or processed logically.


Real numbers have a significant importance in the field of computer science. Computers use some types of real numbers, specifically floating point numbers, which are used to store a wide range of numbers within a finite limit of decimal points, making them easier to compute.

Techopedia Explains Real Number

Because real numbers are virtually limitless, a computer can compute on only those numbers that have predefined algorithms.

The performance of scientific software is often measured in floating point operations per second.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.