# The History of Decimal Fractions

Decimal fractions are a system of representing numbers using a base-10 system, with digits to the right of the decimal point representing fractional parts of a whole number. Decimal fractions were first introduced by the Flemish mathematician Simon Stevin in 1586. He presented the first elementary and thorough account of decimal fractions and introduced their use in mathematics. Stevin’s notation for decimal fractions was initially unwieldy, but it laid the foundation for the modern decimal system.

### Key Facts

1. Decimal fractions were introduced by the Flemish mathematician Simon Stevin in 1586. He presented the first elementary and thorough account of decimal fractions and introduced their use in mathematics.
2. Simon Stevin’s notation for decimal fractions was initially unwieldy, but it laid the foundation for the modern decimal system.
3. It was previously believed that Simon Stevin invented decimal fractions until the middle of the 20th century. However, researchers later discovered that decimal fractions had been introduced earlier by the medieval Islamic scholar al-Uqlidisi in a book written in 952.

It was previously believed that Simon Stevin invented decimal fractions until the middle of the 20th century. However, researchers later discovered that decimal fractions had been introduced earlier by the medieval Islamic scholar al-Uqlidisi in a book written in 952. Al-Uqlidisi’s work on decimal fractions was more systematic and developed than Stevin’s, and it is likely that Stevin was influenced by al-Uqlidisi’s work.

Despite the fact that al-Uqlidisi introduced decimal fractions before Stevin, Stevin is still credited with popularizing decimal fractions and making them widely used in mathematics and science. Stevin’s work on decimal fractions was published in several languages, and it quickly became a standard reference for mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe.

Decimal fractions are now used in all areas of mathematics and science, and they are also used in everyday life. They are a convenient and efficient way to represent numbers, and they make it easy to perform calculations.

## FAQs

### Who invented fractions?

**Answer:** The concept of fractions has been around for thousands of years, and it is not known exactly who invented them. However, the ancient Egyptians used fractions as early as 1000 BC, and the Babylonians used them even earlier.

### Who invented decimal fractions?

**Answer:** Decimal fractions were first introduced by the medieval Islamic scholar al-Uqlidisi in a book written in 952. However, it was the Flemish mathematician Simon Stevin who popularized decimal fractions and made them widely used in mathematics and science in the 16th century.

### Why did al-Uqlidisi and Stevin invent fractions and decimal fractions?

**Answer:** Al-Uqlidisi and Stevin invented fractions and decimal fractions to make it easier to represent and perform calculations with fractional numbers. Fractions and decimal fractions allow us to represent parts of a whole number in a more precise and convenient way.

### How are fractions and decimal fractions used today?

**Answer:** Fractions and decimal fractions are used in all areas of mathematics and science, and they are also used in everyday life. They are used to represent measurements, percentages, probabilities, and many other things. Fractions and decimal fractions make it easy to perform calculations involving fractional numbers.

### What are some examples of fractions and decimal fractions?

**Answer:** Some examples of fractions are 1/2, 3/4, and 5/8. Some examples of decimal fractions are 0.5, 0.75, and 0.875.

### How do you convert between fractions and decimal fractions?

**Answer:** To convert a fraction to a decimal fraction, divide the numerator by the denominator. For example, to convert the fraction 1/2 to a decimal fraction, divide 1 by 2, which gives 0.5. To convert a decimal fraction to a fraction, write the decimal fraction as a fraction with a denominator of 10 raised to the power of the number of digits after the decimal point. For example, to convert the decimal fraction 0.5 to a fraction, write it as 5/10, which can be simplified to 1/2.

### What are some advantages of using decimal fractions over fractions?

**Answer:** Decimal fractions are easier to read and write than fractions. They are also easier to perform calculations with, especially when using a calculator or computer.

### What are some disadvantages of using decimal fractions?

**Answer:** Decimal fractions can be less precise than fractions, especially when representing very small numbers. Decimal fractions can also be difficult to compare, especially when the numbers have a different number of digits after the decimal point.