Encyclopedia > Arithmetic

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Arithmetic is a branch of mathematics which records elementary properties of certain arithmetical operations on numbers. The traditional operations are addition, division, multiplication, and subtraction; although, more advanced topics, such as exponentiation and square roots, are part of this field. Arithmetic is performed according to an order of operations.

The arithmetic of natural numbers, integers, rational numbers (in the form of fractions) and real numbers (in the form of decimal expansions[?]) is typically studied by schoolchildren of the elementary grades. Representations of numbers in terms of percentages are generally studied then as well. However, in adult life, most people rely on calculators to perform arithmetical computations.

The term "arithmetic" is also sometimes used to refer to number theory; it's in this context that one runs across the fundamental theorem of arithmetic and arithmetical functions.

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