An Egyptian fraction is the sum of distinct unit fractions, such as . That is, each fraction in the expression has a numerator equal to 1 and a denominator that is a positive integer, and all the denominators differ from each other. The value of an expression of this type is a positive rational number a/b; for instance the Egyptian fraction above sums to 43/48. Every positive rational number can be represented by an Egyptian fraction. Sums of this type, and similar sums also including 2/3 and 3/4 as summands, were used as a serious notation for rational numbers by the ancient Egyptians, and continued to be used by other civilizations into medieval times. In modern mathematical notation, Egyptian fractions have been superseded by vulgar fractions and decimal notation. However, Egyptian fractions continue to be an object of study in modern number theory and recreational mathematics, as well as in modern historical studies of ancient mathematics.
Egyptian fraction notation was developed in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, altering the Old Kingdom's Eye of Horus numeration system. Five early texts in which Egyptian fractions appear were the Egyptian Mathematical Leather Roll, the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus, the Reisner Papyrus, the Kahun Papyrus and the Akhmim Wooden Tablet. A later text, the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, introduced improved ways of writing Egyptian fractions. The Rhind papyrus was written by Ahmes and dates from the Second Intermediate Period; it includes a ntable of Egyptian fraction expansions for rational numbers 2/, as well as 84 word problems. Solutions to each problem were written out in scribal shorthand, with the final answers of all 84 problems being expressed in Egyptian fraction notation. 2/n tables similar to the one on the Rhind papyrus also appear on some of the other texts. However, as the Kahun Papyrus shows, vulgar fractions were also used by scribes within their calculations.
A unit fraction is a rational number written as a fraction where the numerator is one and the denominator is a positive integer. A unit fraction is therefore the reciprocal of a positive integer, 1/n. Examples are 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 etc.
Multiplying any two unit fractions results in a product that is another unit fraction:
An irreducible fraction (or fraction in lowest terms or reduced fraction) is a fraction in which the numerator and denominator are integers that have no other common divisors than 1 (and -1, when negative numbers are considered). In other words, a fraction a⁄b is irreducible if and only if a and b are coprime, that is, if a and b have a greatest common divisor of 1. In higher mathematics, "irreducible fraction" may also refer to irreducible rational fractions.
An equivalent definition is sometimes useful: if a, b are integers, then the fraction a⁄b is irreducible if and only if there is no other equal fraction c⁄d such that |c| < |a| or |d| < |b|, where |a| means the absolute value of a. (Let us recall that to fractions a⁄b and c⁄d are equal or equivalent if and only if ad = bc.)
Elementary arithmetic is the simplified portion of arithmetic which includes the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Elementary arithmetic starts with the natural numbers and the written symbols (digits) which represent them. The process for combining a pair of these numbers with the four basic operations traditionally relies on memorized results for small values of numbers, including the contents of a multiplication table to assist with multiplication and division.
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.