If c times b equals a, written:
- [math]c \times b = a[/math]
where b is not zero, then a divided by b equals c, written:
- [math]\frac ab = c[/math]
- [math]\frac 63 = 2[/math]
- [math]2 \times 3 = 6[/math].
In the above expression, a is called the dividend, b the divisor and c the quotient.
Division by zero
- [math]\frac x0 =?[/math]
...is not defined.
Division is most often shown by placing the dividend over the divisor with a horizontal line, also called a vinculum, between them. For example, a divided by b is written
- [math]\frac ab[/math].
This can be read out loud as "a divided by b" or "a over b". A way to express division all on one line is to write the dividend, then a slash, then the divisor, like this:
This is the usual way to specify division in most computer programming languages since it can easily be typed as a simple sequence of characters.
A typographical variation which is halfway between these two forms uses a slash but elevates the dividend, and lowers the divisor:
Any of these forms can be used to display a fraction. A fraction is a division expression where both dividend and divisor are integers (although typically called the numerator and denominator). A fraction is an accepted way of writing numbers. It is not always expected that the result of the division is written in decimals.
A less common way to show division is to use the obelus (or division sign) in this manner:
- [math]a \div b.[/math]
But in elementary arithmetic this form is used rather often. The obelus is also used alone to represent the division operation itself, as for instance as a label on a key of a calculator.
In some non-English-speaking cultures, "a divided by b" is written a : b. However, in English usage the colon is restricted to expressing the related concept of ratios (then "a is to b").
Adapted from Simple English Wikipedia