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# Number Theory/Ratios & Complex Fractions

Question
QUESTION: Hello:

I'm not sure this question is related to the category of number theory, but perhaps you can offer an answer.

Should ratios contain only whole numbers and not any fractional numbers?

For example, 8:1, 2:5 have whole numbers. The ratios 2.5:10 and 1:4.5 do not have just whole numbers entirely.

If it is incorrect to express a ratio with fractional numbers, why are complex fractions correct?

ANSWER: If the ratio is 2:5, a ratio of 1:2.5 is the same thing or 2.5:6.25, but most people stay away from fractions in ratios.  If one of the numbers is a 1 and the other a fraction, it could be used, but most people stick strictly to integers.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Is there a logical reason for most people using whole numbers in ratios? I know no more than I did before I sent my first question!

They are far easier to understand.  All other ratios can be converted to whole numbers.

Just think about it - to most people, saying they have a 2/3 chance gives them a good idea that it is a little more likely to occur than not.  If you told them the chance was 1.38 / 2.07, most people would say, 'Huh?'.  Now if math is known in detail, that's [2*.69] / [3*.69], so it reduces to 2/3, but makes far less sense.

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 Rating(1-10) Knowledgeability = 10 Clarity of Response = 10 Politeness = 10 Comment Thank you for the reply and answer!

Number Theory

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#### Scott A Wilson

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